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» Gardening on a Small Scale

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Gardening on a Small Scale
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Square foot gardening is based on the idea of building raised beds wit divided spaces of (as you might guess) one square foot. Within that space, greenery gets sown. Most people who have adapted this approach know that it saves a lot of time in weeding and care because of the tidy, easily-managed space.
The easiest way to begin is by building the frames with all the segments. Some people use twine or rope for segments, but if you’ve got the wood, it’s more permanent. On the bottom of the assembly you can use either fine mesh or plywood with drain holes. Both approaches decrease weed infestation from the lawn.

If you wish, you could also put a layer of landscaping fabric between the boxes and the grass, then fill the boxes with fresh, good composite soil. Don’t forget to carefully consider the location of your raised beds. You’ll still need good lighting, protection from various pests, and good drainage if you live in an area prone to flooding.

There are some basic guidelines that will make your square foot gardening efforts more successful. For one, try not to exceed 3′ by 3′ spaces. Remember: the idea is to be able to reach everything easily when tending. Second, use a good soil. Third, each season use the squares for different items so that you don’t leach your soil of nutrients. Depending on each plant’s needs you can use one foot of area for up to over a dozen plants.

Finally, when you’ve completely harvested one of the regions, refresh it with organics annually (best done before winter so that come spring, all you’ll need to do is till and sow). Remember to treat each space in this garden uniquely. The area growing tomatoes and the one growing marigolds is going to have a completely different soil result, for example.
For people with limited space, elevated boxes may not work. In this case you can try pots instead.

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