In my previous article I discussed single row gardening and discussed the pros and cons of the method. This article will do the same for square foot gardening.
We have talked about square foot gardening in past articles by Jennifer and Megan. Marisa and I used the square foot gardening method for part of our garden on our last property. We liked it a lot and had a lot of success with it.
It seems to me that square foot gardening is the cool kid of the gardening methods. If he and single row gardening were in the lunchroom together, you would see him in a leather jacket with sunglasses surrounded by cheerleaders while single row sat in the corner doing his science homework. Right now, square foot gardening is just sexy.
Square foot gardening was made popular by Mel Bartholomew. A square foot garden is a raised bed method in which a small square area is used for a garden. The square is broken into a grid with plants planted in each grid. It is recommended that you plant different plants within each grid so you get a variety of produce in one plot.
Advantages of Square Foot Gardening
- Square foot gardening will normally give you a better yield for the area you are using. This makes it better for those with limited space.
- Weeds are easier to control since plants are compact and close together. Weeds get crowded out.
- Raised bed method means it is easier to access plants for those that have problems bending over or kneeling down.
- Compact areas with lots of plants tend to keep moisture in the soil better so water is used efficiently.
- The recommended soil mix that is suggested is very expensive. We did 3 4x4 boxes last year and it cost about $100 to fill them with Mel Bartholomew's recommended mix.
- If you live in a windy area, large plants like corn and tomatoes will blow over easily even when staked (based on our personal experience). Megan had the same problem as us.
- Since plants are so close together, there can be less air circulation which can cause issues with mildew or disease that you might not have from other planting methods.
What are some of the pros and cons that I missed about square foot gardening? Share them with us in the comments to educate us on your experiences.