Square Foot Gardening 101

SGF101

One of the BEST and CHEAPEST ways to store fruits and vegetables is to garden and/or preserve them yourself. If this feels overwhelming to you, don’t worry, we understand! Check out Jodi’s Gardening Failures post from last fall for example πŸ˜‰ However, if this is something you really WANT to learn more about, we are going to help you achieve success this year.

If you are a brand new beginner, here is a fantastic intro to Square Foot Gardening that we filmed with our cousin Emily from http://MySquareFootGarden.NET. We love love love the Square Foot Garden method developed by Mel Bartholemew.
 

2014 Garden Update!

If you’ve been following our Facebook page you will have seen that Jodi is getting ready to put in some raised garden beds at her new home this spring. Her husband has built three of them so far and is going to help her put up a tutorial next week so stay tuned. She’ll also be sharing her 2014 garden plans with you as she gets them developed.

Jodi’s To-Do’s This Week
1. Move the garden boxes to the backyard
2. Have compost delivered to fill the boxes
3. Install a drip irrigation system
4. Complete my 2014 garden plan
5. Buy some plants and get started planting!

Note from Jodi: If you are trying to figure out what you can plant at what dates check out our cousin Emily’s other site http://plantingbycolor.com. She gives full charts based on frost dates for your particular area so you won’t plant too late or too early. I always follow her guidelines and it’s worked out great for me!

Happy Gardening!!!


  • Really
    appreciate you sharing this post. Really looking forward to read more.Β 
    Β 

  • I just need to clean my trays, purchase my new starter mix, and check my seeds.

  • I will sincerely say you actually establish some outstanding ideas and I will post a number of good ideas to add to briefly.

  • Anonymous

    This one is truly looking one of most informative post about Gardening. And the existing content and features of this post really makes me crazy about it. it’s hugely informative and incredible post. Thanks for sharing some authentic thing about gardening.

    grow lights

  • Please give me more information. I love it, Thanks again.

  • Think of your canning jars as an investment.

  • Anonymous

    I have a small apartment, but I recently started taking up gardening as a hobby. I love planting flowers, although I always complain about the lack of space. I found a blog that described the hydroponic herb garden, a small recipient where you can grow any sort of plants. I think that would be interesting to check.

  • Anonymous

    Wal-Mart notified its employees in a letter, and about the details of the plan and specified which drugs would and would not be covered

  • I like this article! Will come again next time for sure, thank again

  • I'm so love this blog, already bookmarked it! Thanks.

  • Maybe some seeds, or any materials to help get seeds started indoors like grow lights, etc. It's probably late in the season to use those things this year but she can have them on hand for next year!

  • Hi. My mom set up a square foot garden and she loves it. Already eating from it. I want to get her something for her birthday. Any suggestions?

  • Hi. My mom set up a square foot garden and she loves it. Already eating from it. I want to get her something for her birthday. Any suggestions?

    • Maybe some seeds, or any materials to help get seeds started indoors like grow lights, etc. It’s probably late in the season to use those things this year but she can have them on hand for next year!

  • Hi. My mom set up a square foot garden and she loves it. Already eating from it. I want to get her something for her birthday. Any suggestions?

  • sue

    Stacey –

    depending on where you are, check with local resources for boxes, etc. If you’re near a poorer, urban area, there are often community groups which strive to teach the urban poor how to garden & raise a portion of their own food – to make gov’t subsidies stretch, but also to teach self-sufficiency and nutrition to families. They generally use SFG as a basis and sell garden boxes at a lower cost (typically underwritten by donors, etc.). Be creative and consider all sources when looking for supplies – a Habitat ReStore is also a great place to buy discounted lumber, etc. πŸ™‚ Best to you!

  • sue

    Stacey –

    depending on where you are, check with local resources for boxes, etc. If you're near a poorer, urban area, there are often community groups which strive to teach the urban poor how to garden & raise a portion of their own food – to make gov't subsidies stretch, but also to teach self-sufficiency and nutrition to families. They generally use SFG as a basis and sell garden boxes at a lower cost (typically underwritten by donors, etc.). Be creative and consider all sources when looking for supplies – a Habitat ReStore is also a great place to buy discounted lumber, etc. πŸ™‚ Best to you!

  • Great video – I am starting a garden this year and plan to use Square Foot Gardening for the first time, since I don’t have much space to work with. The cost of the box, soil, and everything else is a little intimidating, but I started some seeds indoors and they’re doing really well, so I’m committed. πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot for the video and a great blog!

  • Great video – I am starting a garden this year and plan to use Square Foot Gardening for the first time, since I don't have much space to work with. The cost of the box, soil, and everything else is a little intimidating, but I started some seeds indoors and they're doing really well, so I'm committed. πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot for the video and a great blog!

  • When buying used canning jars make sure they are actual canning jars rather than mayonnaise or spaghetti sauce jars. They are made to hold up under pressure better.

  • When buying used canning jars make sure they are actual canning jars rather than mayonnaise or spaghetti sauce jars. They are made to hold up under pressure better.

  • Anonymous

    I recommend looking for the plain-paper paperback Square Foot Gardening book from the 1980’s or so. Try to avoid the “new” color glossy book. The back of the 80’s versions have extremely useful charts which tell how much to plant, and WHEN to plant seeds or transplants and how much harvest is expected and when. Much more useful than glossy color pictures.

  • April_in_Maryland

    I recommend looking for the plain-paper paperback Square Foot Gardening book from the 1980's or so. Try to avoid the “new” color glossy book. The back of the 80's versions have extremely useful charts which tell how much to plant, and WHEN to plant seeds or transplants and how much harvest is expected and when. Much more useful than glossy color pictures.

  • Love SFG. πŸ™‚ The previous owners of our house asphalted the back yard (wish I was kidding) and so over the years I've made raised beds from cinder-blocks & others from wood. Unfortunately, the chipmunks eat 1/2 or more of what I grow no matter what I use to protect the crops. I keep trying though & sometimes actually manage to grow enough to can.

  • Love SFG. πŸ™‚ The previous owners of our house asphalted the back yard (wish I was kidding) and so over the years I've made raised beds from cinder-blocks & others from wood. Unfortunately, the chipmunks eat 1/2 or more of what I grow no matter what I use to protect the crops. I keep trying though & sometimes actually manage to grow enough to can.

  • I just purchased the newest edition of Square Foot Gardening. I have had the original for several years. I have my grow stand with lights ready to go, I just need to clean my trays, purchase my new starter mix, and check my seeds. I do not want to over plant too many seeds of any variety of vegetable, it wastes seeds, square foot gardening helps make the best use of your seeds.I have a container garden on my back deck, with multiple containers on the deck and railing with a watering system. I have also gradually put a garden around the front yard. I am going to use the ideas from the new square foot garden in the front yard, containing my current beds and raising them up. It will help to contain the strawberry plants that are taking over. I hope to integrate flowers with herbs and fruit.

  • I just purchased the newest edition of Square Foot Gardening. I have had the original for several years. I have my grow stand with lights ready to go, I just need to clean my trays, purchase my new starter mix, and check my seeds. I do not want to over plant too many seeds of any variety of vegetable, it wastes seeds, square foot gardening helps make the best use of your seeds.I have a container garden on my back deck, with multiple containers on the deck and railing with a watering system. I have also gradually put a garden around the front yard. I am going to use the ideas from the new square foot garden in the front yard, containing my current beds and raising them up. It will help to contain the strawberry plants that are taking over. I hope to integrate flowers with herbs and fruit.

  • sue

    Oops! I forgot to include the link! Sorry about that!

    http://www.gardeners.com/Kitchen-Garden-Planner/kgp_home,default,pg.html

  • sue

    hey ladies –

    Someone on a local gardening listserv I’m a part of posted this link today – and I’ve already plotted out my SFGs for the summer! I love it – it’s free and easy to use and the program tells you how many plants per SF section, as well as when to plant, how to plant (and thin), etc.

    I hope it helps you figure out the summer garden plans – I’m already looking on Craigslist and other local places where I can pick up more canning jars than I already have stored. I’m planning on putting up a lot in my FS pantry! πŸ™‚

  • Think of your canning jars as an investment. You may have to put out at the beginning, but in the long run, it pays off.

  • Think of your canning jars as an investment. You may have to put out at the beginning, but in the long run, it pays off.

  • sue

    hey ladies –

    Someone on a local gardening listserv I'm a part of posted this link today – and I've already plotted out my SFGs for the summer! I love it – it's free and easy to use and the program tells you how many plants per SF section, as well as when to plant, how to plant (and thin), etc.

    I hope it helps you figure out the summer garden plans – I'm already looking on Craigslist and other local places where I can pick up more canning jars than I already have stored. I'm planning on putting up a lot in my FS pantry! πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm…no Canadian provinces on that list…I’m surprised Julie! Ah well. I picked up Mel’s book last year with the hopes of starting this year. Do you think you might write a post on gardening when you can’t start seeds inside? I don’t have a place inside where my three boys under the age of 4 wouldn’t get too curious and likely destroy any early work. Thanks!

  • terrianngawthroupe

    Hmmm…no Canadian provinces on that list…I'm surprised Julie! Ah well. I picked up Mel's book last year with the hopes of starting this year. Do you think you might write a post on gardening when you can't start seeds inside? I don't have a place inside where my three boys under the age of 4 wouldn't get too curious and likely destroy any early work. Thanks!

  • Here's another cheap gardening route for those without a yard. Upside down gardenining! Hang these on your patio or along your fence! Much more sturdy than those topsy turvey things, so you can use them every year!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KetD2j-pOsU

  • Here's another cheap gardening route for those without a yard. Upside down gardenining! Hang these on your patio or along your fence! Much more sturdy than those topsy turvey things, so you can use them every year!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KetD2j-pOsU

  • When you do pickup canning jars at yard sales etc, make sure you check the rim of the jar for any chips, cracks. if they are chipped they wont hold a seal so , dont buy those. Happy canning.:)

  • When you do pickup canning jars at yard sales etc, make sure you check the rim of the jar for any chips, cracks. if they are chipped they wont hold a seal so , dont buy those. Happy canning.:)

  • When you do pickup canning jars at yard sales etc, make sure you check the rim of the jar for any chips, cracks. if they are chipped they wont hold a seal so , dont buy those. Happy canning.:)

  • When you do pickup canning jars at yard sales etc, make sure you check the rim of the jar for any chips, cracks. if they are chipped they wont hold a seal so , dont buy those. Happy canning.:)

  • When you do pickup canning jars at yard sales etc, make sure you check the rim of the jar for any chips, cracks. if they are chipped they wont hold a seal so , dont buy those. Happy canning.:)

  • When you do pickup canning jars at yard sales etc, make sure you check the rim of the jar for any chips, cracks. if they are chipped they wont hold a seal so , dont buy those. Happy canning.:)

  • We have a lot of estate sales in this area and I get the jars there. Typically the cost is more like $2-$3 for 2-3 dozen jars. And over the years I've received dozens and dozens of jars as gifts from people cleaning out their mother's items, that kind of thing. Don't pay retail, except for the lids.

  • We have a lot of estate sales in this area and I get the jars there. Typically the cost is more like $2-$3 for 2-3 dozen jars. And over the years I've received dozens and dozens of jars as gifts from people cleaning out their mother's items, that kind of thing. Don't pay retail, except for the lids.

  • The good thing about canning jars is that you can use the over and over again. Also, look at yard sales. A lot of times people are trying to get of them, and lids and bands can be found at a lot of stores. One last tip – when in doubt check out the internet. Just make sure to include shipping and handling into the final price comparison to make sure you are getting a real deal.

  • The good thing about canning jars is that you can use the over and over again. Also, look at yard sales. A lot of times people are trying to get of them, and lids and bands can be found at a lot of stores. One last tip – when in doubt check out the internet. Just make sure to include shipping and handling into the final price comparison to make sure you are getting a real deal.

  • look at yard sales & thrift stores or freecycle/craigslist for cheap jars – sometimes if you put the word out that your looking for them people who no longer can will just give them to you. it's cheaper long term not so much short term because the more you use the jars the cheaper it is.

  • look at yard sales & thrift stores or freecycle/craigslist for cheap jars – sometimes if you put the word out that your looking for them people who no longer can will just give them to you. it's cheaper long term not so much short term because the more you use the jars the cheaper it is.

  • look at yard sales & thrift stores or freecycle/craigslist for cheap jars – sometimes if you put the word out that your looking for them people who no longer can will just give them to you. it's cheaper long term not so much short term because the more you use the jars the cheaper it is.

  • look at yard sales & thrift stores or freecycle/craigslist for cheap jars – sometimes if you put the word out that your looking for them people who no longer can will just give them to you. it's cheaper long term not so much short term because the more you use the jars the cheaper it is.

  • One dillema about gardening and canning my own food storage is that I don't understand how it is cheaper with the price of mason jars. For us out here in AR, mason jars are about $0.70 a piece. But we can get canned goods on wholesale for less than $0.50. What are some good tips on finding mason jars cheep.

  • One dillema about gardening and canning my own food storage is that I don't understand how it is cheaper with the price of mason jars. For us out here in AR, mason jars are about $0.70 a piece. But we can get canned goods on wholesale for less than $0.50. What are some good tips on finding mason jars cheep.