Square foot gardening has been on my radar only slightly less time than any other type of gardening. Until the last couple of years, I had not the time, space, or energy to plant a vegetable garden of any kind, square foot gardening or no. My gardening efforts were limited to a few ornamental flowers in the foot-wide bed outside our front window. Recently, the desire to plant a vegetable garden has been a more feasible goal as I have more space and time for my home and garden. I’ve seen several square foot gardening examples, including my mom’s; she’s very experienced with vegetable gardens, has had success square foot gardening. I’ve been excited all winter to try it in my own garden.
The idea of square foot gardening appeals to me for many reasons, but maybe the biggest in my mind is that a more compact vegetable garden equals less square feet of potential weed terrain. My gardens have not performed to their potential in the past, largely because after I plant, I lose steam and the time I spend working in the garden just isn’t enough to keep up with the weeds. Square foot gardening, maybe in a raised square foot garden, sounds fantastic – less weed potential on two accounts that way!
The compact soil use in square foot gardening appeals to me for reasons beyond the weed factor. I like the idea of efficiency, and by planting somewhere around 16 different vegetable varieties in a 16-square-foot space, square foot gardening gives us the epitome of garden efficiency. Not only is garden efficiency a preference, it’s economical. I won’t need as much peat moss or other garden soil prepping products if I’m only planning to grow vegetables in a small area. Now the only problem will be what to do with the extra garden space! I’m thinking a raspberry bush – a delicious square foot gardening bonus.
Last but not least on the square foot gardening appeal list is the aesthetic appeal. I did a quick online search to check out some square foot gardening and was surprised to find how sharp the beds look! My grandmother’s vegetable garden was amazing, but it wasn’t much to look at – lots of dirt with peas and carrots and other vegetable varieties interspersed. Square foot gardening can be planned around the vegetable variety you want AND ornamental value. There are plans online for endless styles, including vegetable gardens for kids, square foot gardens based on a recipe, and some that just look exotic. I plan to do my square foot gardening in the back yard, but it’s pretty impressive to think that I could put it in the front without compromising on style.
Between the internet and my mother the garden genius, I figure I should be an expert on square foot gardening by the time I can get my husband to build some raised garden beds for our soon-to-be- square foot garden. I can’t wait to choose my vegetable and aesthetic combination and get my square foot gardening plant on!