How to Make an Easy Square-foot Garden!




How to make an easy square-foot garden you can put anywhere! Follow step-by-step instructions and learn how to build, fill, mark, and plant your very own square-foot garden.

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Step 1: Plan!

First, make a scale drawing of your garden - a 4"x4" box in a piece of paper. Grid it off every inch so you have 16 little squares inside of 1 big square. Once you decide what veggies you want to grow, use a search engine to find a website for your state/country and find the recommended time to plant and harvest and the spacing for planting your veggies. Leave some space to plant flowers like Dwarf Sunflowers and French Marigolds that keep away pests.

Step 2: Math Time

Now, comes time to do the math. In Virginia, lettuce leaf should be planted 3-6" apart in rows and 12-18" between rows. That means you will only be able to plant two per box. Do the same for all of your veggies. I made two 4'x4' boxes, screwed them together, and grided them 3x6 - a bit harder, but it worked. You just want to make sure you can reach EVERYTHING in your garden.

Step 3: Materials

Now you need to get your supplies.
This is what you'll need.

- 4 1"x8"x4' wood beams
- wood screws
- screw driver
- string
- organic gardening soil w/peat
- carboard
- tape measure
- small nails
- veggies (I bought mine in decomposable pots)
- nice, level, sunny area

Step 4: Make Yo Box!

Screw the boards together so they make a 4'x4' box. Pretty self-explanitory! Then, lay the box where you want the garden to be.

Step 5: Lay the Carboard

With your square-foot garden, you don't want chemicals from any surface ir weeds and grass underneath the garden getting in your garden, so I laid carboard in the box so it totally lines the bottom of the area.

Step 6: Fill It

Put your gardening soil on top of the carboard so the top of the soil comes about 1/2" to the top of the wooden box.

Step 7: Mark the Squares

On each side, use a tape measurer to make the 1' pionts on each side. Tap in a small nail at each point. Take some string that can withstand the weather, and tie it on the screws so it makes a grid like your scale drawing.

Step 8: Plant Veggies

Plant your veggies at the time the internet tells you in the box you've planned in your scale drawing. Remember to plant the tall plans (like tomatoes) in the back and the shorter ones in front so they aren't blocked from the sunlight.

Step 9: Let Veggies Grow and Injoy Your Square-Foot Garden!

Your square foot garden should last several years without changing the soil, just by adding new fresh organic soil or compost. Water lightly, like rain, every other day, but only in the mornings (plants that are wet at night will get fungus and die). Remember not to step on the soil/plants. You want the soil to remain as fresh as it was when you bought it. Maintain your garden, and enjoy your veggies!

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    11 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Nice quick SFG overview.  I always plant my lettuce tighter (salad mix anyhow), and always have a nice harvest from a couple s.f.  I have a 10' x 10' area and use the Fantastic Farm & Garden Calculator to plan it out.  It makes it really easy to figure out succession planting and intercropping, as well as let you know how many people you can feed.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I am getting ready to do this (South FL) and I want to know if you are happy with the size, I mean would you do anything different if you were to build it again? What about the height - are you sure the plants have enough root room with sides only that tall? Thank you for the tip about tall plants in the back, great job.

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Pick a size that suits the area. With the height, you would need to have different heights for what you're growing. If its just herbs, 4". If you are doing tomatoes (tall plants), maybe 6-8".


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I am going to be trying this next season, thanks for the post.