One of the smartest approaches in growing food is square foot gardening. It’s not only simple and easy to manage, but highly adaptable and tends to supply great yields of top-quality produce, too. Note that a single square foot garden unit that measures 16 sq. ft. or 1.5 sq. m. holds an average of 130 plants and can already produce adequate amount of vegetables for one person. In fact, a family of four will have an abundant of fresh greens all throughout the growing season and beyond with just a 64 sq. ft or 6 sq. m. of gardening space. If you are interested, here’s how you can make one:
- Find the right location. Look out for a spot where there is no other plants that might get in the way, where it can receive about 6 to 8 hours of sunlight, and where it is not prone to excess moisture. To improve convenience, try to position your garden close by. Lastly, consider the layout. A very common one is the 4 x 4 sq. ft.-garden. Just make sure to provide aisles to better access and tend to your plot without disrupting the other boxes.
- Build the box frame. You can utilize any material (except treated woods as they contain chemicals that can seep into the soil) but try to visit your local lumber yard anyway to look for some 1 x 6 or 2 x 6 lumber. Lay them out to form boxes then secure the corners with deck screws.
- Fill the box with organic matter. Once you have created the box frame, start filling it with materials that’s going to nourish and enrich your garden. It’s highly recommended to use an organic mixture of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 course grade vermiculite.
- Create the grid with proper spacing. This grid will form the one-foot square within the box frame, and this can be made shorter to fit inside the box or to be secured on top of it. Regardless, its purpose is to keep your garden well-organized; thus, improve its manageability. Like in making the box frame, the grid can also be made from just any chemical-free material. You may secure the grid at every spot where the strips intersect with the use of screws or rivets. It’s recommended to grow 4 plants per square foot grid with 6-inch spacing, 9 plants for 4-inch spacing, and 16 plants for 3-inch spacing.
- Start planting. Since the space is very limited, you would want to use your fingers in making shallow holds in the soil and in placing one or two plant seeds in each spot. Cover them carefully without packing the soil too much that air and water can no longer penetrate. Once your plant has sprouted, water your veggies on a regular basis, preferably using your hand because of the small space. Use the water that’s room temperature or a bit warmer than usual as the warmth often helps promote growth especially those of which are still in the early stages of development.