8 Reasons to Start Square Foot Gardening in Your Backyard | Shifting Roots

8 Reasons to Start Square Foot Gardening in Your Backyard

Have you been scrolling on Pinterest lately, oo-ing and ah-ing over all those beautiful raised beds you see with perfectly spaced plants?  It’s called square foot gardening and it’s the perfect solution for those of us with a small space to garden in, or anyone who wants to have a more low-maintenance garden.

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The square foot gardening method was created by an engineer, Mel Bartholomew in the 1980’s.  You can learn more about it in this video, or purchase his book, All New Square Foot Gardening, Third Edition: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space.  I’ve personally read and love it, and it’s what has convinced me that this is the best way to grow my vegetable garden.

Curious?  I’ll give you 8 good reasons why you should try it this gardening season.

The basic gist of square foot gardening is that you make a raised bed, fill it with a combination of black earth, compost, vermiculite (or coconut coir), and/or perlite to create a nutrient-rich and basically weed free soil.  You can use Mel’s Mix that he outlines in the book, or use one of your own preference.

You then divide the bed into 1 foot squares, and plant your plants closer together than traditional row gardens do.

P.S.-My favourite way to plant my square foot garden is with the Seeding Square.  It makes the whole process super easy and fast.

Here’s why I love the square foot gardening method:

1. Grow More Food in Less Space

Planting vegetables closer together and in squares instead of rows means you can fit way more vegetables in the same amount of space than in your typical row garden.  Once you start square foot gardening, you’ll often find that you have squares “left over” in your garden plan that you have to fill with extra vegetables.

In areas where the growing season is longer, you can plant another vegetable crop in the square you just harvested, giving you a more continuous harvest.

Grow more food in less space--8 reasons why you should try square foot gardening this year.Click To Tweet

2. Perfect for Gardening in Small Spaces

Gardening in small spaces can be frustrating and challenging.  With the square foot method, you can make the most of the space you actually have.

Gardening in a small space?  Here's why you should try square foot gardening!  It's the perfect way for beginners to start a vegetable garden in a backyard. #squarefootgarden #smallspace #gardening

3. Less Time Spent Weeding

Since the plants are closer together and the soil is weed-free, any weeds that do crop up are very easy to deal with.  Make your weeds even more manageable by putting a layer of mulch around your vegetables once they have grown a bit more.

4. Less Time Spent Watering

Mel’s Mix holds water, so that means that you can water a bit less.  Because everything is so close together, it’s easier to water just the plants, and not waste water on garden paths.

5. It’s the Best Way to Garden if You’re Short on Money and Time

I get it.  You want to garden but you’re super busy and you don’t want to spend hours on your garden.  With the square foot gardening method, it’s easy to maintain your raised bed in just 5 minutes a day.

6. Healthier Plants and Less Disease

Since your plants aren’t competing for nutrients with the weeds, they will be healthier and less susceptible to disease and bugs.  You’re also more likely to weed and water a garden that doesn’t take so much of your time, so your plants are less likely to die from neglect.

7. It’s Easy and Manageable to do with Young Children

See all the reasons above.  Plus, since the garden is raised, your children are less likely to roll around in it or trample your vegetables.  Anybody? Or was that just my toddler?

8. Raised Beds Are Easier for Seniors to Manage

Build a higher raised bed and you have a garden that requires way less bending for seniors, or anyone with back issues.

Convinced?  I’ve come up with 4 garden templates to get you started

  • Salad Garden
  • Best for Beginners
  • Salsa Garden
  • Kids Garden

Want to try square foot gardening? I've compiled 4 themed garden plans for beginners. Get the exact layout for your raised bed vegetable garden, that colour co-ordinates with the seeding square. Download your free printable now for your small space garden! #squarefootgardening #raisedbeds #vegetablegardening #seedingsquare #smallspacegardening #gardening

Better yet, they’re all colour co-ordinated with the Seeding Square, so all the hard work is done for you.

Order Your Seeding Square Here

Enter your email address and subscribe to get your four free templates.  I’ll send you the templates and you’ll also get a short email course on how to get started square foot gardening.

Get 4 Free Square Foot Gardening Templates

Start your square foot garden the easy way!

You'll get 4 4x4 plans for

  • Salad Garden
  • Beginner's Garden
  • Salsa Garden
  • Kid's Garden

Plus a short 3 day email course of how to get started with square foot gardening.

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Want to try square foot gardening? I've compiled 4 themed garden plans for beginners. Get the exact layout for your raised bed vegetable garden, that colour co-ordinates with the seeding square. Download your free printable now for your small space garden! #squarefootgardening #raisedbeds #vegetablegardening #seedingsquare #smallspacegardening #gardening

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Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Grow roots with us

Kristen

Welcome!

Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!