With the weather warming up, flowers blossoming, and grass begging to be cut, the seasonal frenzy to “spring” into action comes into effect and inspires us to maximize everything ranging from cleaning the house in 20 minutes to getting the most out of veggie scraps.
For us, we are fueled with the need to make the best use of our gardens and outdoor spaces – which is why we believe that square foot gardening is the key to success in maximizing the yield of a raised bed.
We have gone through the materials and steps to build a raised bed, but now want to dig deeper and detail how the square foot gardening method is a great way to utilize a raised garden plot.
Before getting your hands dirty, check out our video detailing the quick steps to building a raised bed and how to apply the square foot gardening method.
SQUARE FOOT GARDENING IN A RAISED BED
Note: These instructions are for a 4x8 bed, but you can adjust the sizing to fit your yard and your needs! 4X4 is another common raised bed size, if you have a bit less space.
OVERVIEW: To put it simply, we are dividing your raised bed into a grid of 32 one-foot squares. Each square will house individual plants. This creates a compact area for a flourishing vegetable garden.
- Tape Measure
- 20 nails
- Water the soil of your raised bed. Our recommended choice of soil is Harvest Organics Raised Bed Mix.
- Divide your raised bed into one-foot sections by measuring and marking each side of your raised bed every 12 inches.
- Attach twine with nails at each mark around the bed to create a square foot grid (note: you're not making rows - you want squares)
- Plant one type of vegetable or herb crop in each of the 32 squares.
- Some medium-to-large-sized vegetables, like tomatoes should be planted one per square. However, other smaller crops such as radishes, can be planted with multiple seeds/seedlings per square.
- For crops, like tomatoes, that require structural support for vines consider attaching a trellis or ladder.
For more insight on how many seeds/seedlings to plant per square, check out our guide below.
The square foot gardening approach in a raised bed is perfect for beginners and experienced gardeners alike who desire to grow more in less space.
Here's a quick sample layout to help you get started - this would be perfect for a 4X5 garden.
Here are a few more resources on square foot gardening layouts and planning:
- Five Steps for Successful Raised Bed Gardening
- Three Steps for Planning Your Garden
- Let Your Garden Work For You