Yesterday marked our start into the world of squarefoot gardening (aka raised bed gardening). For a number of years we hemmed and hawed around the thought of having a vegetable garden and this year was the year. The increasing price of fuel, seemed to make the idea a little more palpable. Applying some knowledge gained from reading various copies of All New Square Foot Gardening
.. we’ve gone headlong into establishing our garden.
Read along as we plan, build and plant in just a few hours.
To see all the details of the plan click the picture above. Thanks to vegetable-gardening-online for the worksheet.
Our plan was not an exact squarefoot garden in the purest sense but, we did follow squarefoot gardening principles. In a true square foot garden it’s most often square (duh!). However, we did plant for efficiency and space optimization.
So, with plan in hand, plants/seeds purchased we headed out
Our raised bed garden is a kit from Sam’s Club was an 8″ Double Raised Bed from Greenland Gardener
which makes a 42″ x 84″ garden ($39) and made in the USA ;-) . The great things about this kit from Sam’s Club is it’s heavier, uses no hardware and is less expensive than the kit from Big Blue which is a Frameitall/Bonnie Plant branded raised garden kit ($49) that uses corner hardware and screws.
So, the first step was to locate a North facing site for the garden which gets 6+ hours of sun. This is no small order in our tree filled yard. My loving Wife scoped out several sites and with that research complete it would be on the perimeter of our backyard. We laid out the pieces to see what it would look like.
The next step I decided on was to remove the grass in the area so we could level the area. This is not mandatory if you have a level location. If you can avoid this step.. do it! We almost did. Removing this grass was the most labor intensive part of the project!
Lily approves of the layout. You can also see the corner blocks which accept the side panels for hardware free assembly (genius!).
See that tool with the green handle? … it’s a gem… removes weeds without backbreaking contortions and I used it to help remove the sod from the area. It’s an Ames True Temper Gardener Two Pronged Weeder.
If it’s possible to love a tool.. my Wife and I both do! Removes weeds from landscaping beds with ease! But, sod was another thing entirely… this “little” area took some muscle. But, when it was done…
garden goodness with landscaping fabric installed.
The gardening gods smiled down on us. Because when we went to return the raised garden bed to Big Blue the Miracle Gro Garden Soil was $2.50/1 cu. ft bag. Sweet! We also picked up a bag of Black Kow Compost Cow Manure
… can’t have too much organic material in your soil.
Miracle Gro Garden Soil ready to go in our square foot garden
So, the next step was to mark off the squares for our (almost) square foot garden. There are lots of ways to mark off the squares (wood, old blinds, vinyl) We used what we had… Painter’s tape…
I decided to use the corner connectors of our raised garden bed kit to hold the plant markers from the Bonnie plants we planted. We’ll see how this works as the plants mature.
Here’s a look at the planted plan…
We decided to reuse the soaker hose and timer from another landscape project to keep the garden watered. This way we ensured the garden would get watered no matter what happened.
Want to see an update on our garden? Check here