Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening

Would you like a garden but don’t have a large space?  Square Foot gardening is your answer. In just a small square you can grow enough food to feed your family and enjoy a lifelong hobby.

Save Time

Raised bed gardening saves time, space, energy & water. You plant in 4×4 beds, they are typically 4 feet by 4 feet, with a square foot lattice or string ties placed on top to visually separate the crops. You can also make a bed size of your choice like 2×2 or 4×12. This planting method produces high yields. it means you’ll harvest a ton of produce from a limited area, it’s ideal for gardeners with smaller spaces.


                             Photo courtesy of Square Foot Gardening Organization

Keep it Simple

Keep the planting simple, there are no plant spacings to remember. Instead, each square has either 1, 4, 9, or 16 plants in it depending on the size of the plant. No weeding, No digging, No tilling!


Planting Soil

Beds should be filled with a planting soil mix of 6 to 12 inches.

The Father of Square Foot Gardening Mel Bartholomew recommends this mix.

This tested and proven formula is easy to make at home. Please note: these ingredients will be in equal volumes, not by weight.
• 1/3 Coarse grade Vermiculite (Mel’s preferred medium)
• 1/3 Sphagnum Peat Moss (You can also use Coconut Coir)
• 1/3 Blended Organic Compost (Mel recommends 5 different composts combined for optimal results)


After getting a season of square foot gardening under your belt you might want more raised beds.


See Mel’s BookIt’s a classic!

Square Foot Gardening FAQ’s

When do I have to replace the growing mix?

Mel suggests that it will be good for 7-10 years.

Can I grow in patio containers using his method?

Yes, containers work great for vegetables albeit on a smaller basis. Great for patios and small gardens, containers are a great way to garden.

What are the cons to square foot gardening?

To set up the beds there will be a small initial investment.

The beds sometimes are not deep enough, make sure to make your mix at least 12 inches deep.

More watering, but that can be sidestepped by adding soaker hoses, irrigation system, and adding mulch around the plants.


Want to learn more about landscape design & installation faq?

Call Breezy Hill Nursery at 262-537-2111.

NOTE:  Any of our sales associates here at Breezy Hill Nursery would be happy to answer your questions about planting and caring for your tree.  Call us at (262) 537-2111.

Do you have Gardening questions? Please call or stop by our garden center.

You might also enjoy this post about common landscaping questions or this post about Cut Flower Gardening.

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