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How to Build a Square Foot Garden | Enhanced Garden&Life

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

Square Foot Gardening For Beginners

Are you trying to build a square foot garden and don't know where to start?

Here's a step-by-step guide to Build a Square Foot Garden Bed.

I have chosen to make this as easy as possible with no tools required except a tape measure and a pencil for a basic setup.

How to Build a Square Foot Garden

4x8 Square Foot Garden Plan

Step one

Get all the materials you will need. I use planter blocks for the corners of this square-foot garden bed. The wood should be two by six because it will fit nicely into the planter blocks' width and height. Now choose your wood. I suggest cedar or pine. Cedar will last a long time but is more expensive. Hopefully, pine in a wet environment will allow you to get at least five years out of it. Do not use pressure-treated wood. It has chemicals. I wouldn't want the chemicals leaching into my soil and my vegetables. Try to buy the correct size wood, but most stores will cut the wood to size for you if you can't.

Square Foot Gardening Soil

Step 2 Adding soil

Before adding soil, make sure you kill the grass underneath. Some good ways of doing that are laying down cardboard or contractors paper or even paper grocery bags. If you don't kill the grass first, it will grow up through the bed.

I have added one hundred percent compost with sand mixed into it for my bed. The way to figure out the amount of soil you will need is to multiply your bed dimensions. My bed is 8 feet long and 4 feet wide, and 6 inches high. I will convert 6 inches to feet, so that will be .5. I will multiply 8×4×.5=16 cubic feet, then divide 16 by 27 equals .6 cubic yards. Once you know the amount of soil you need, you can get the proper amount to fill your square foot garden bed. I have read the square foot gardening book, giving you the ingredients that He suggests in that book. He suggests one-third of each compost, peat moss, and coarse vermiculite. I prefer not to use peat moss. A good alternative would be coco coir. I suggest mixing it while it's dry. Once the mix is moist, it will not readily mix. If you have a big tub or wheelbarrow, you can mix smaller amounts and then add them to your square foot garden bed. I suggest mixing before adding to the bed. It will be much easier to prepare before adding to the bed.

Step 3 Adding square foot guides.

Without tools, you can take a straight stick and push it down onto the soil to make an impression so you can see where your one-foot intervals are while you plant.

Square Foot Garden

Now that you have filled the square foot garden bed, you can add your guides. In the book, he uses lattice for this, but I'm going to do it differently. You'll have to choose what you would like to do. Measure in one-foot increments on every side of your garden bed, marking each point. After that, you can add your lattice with galvanized screws(predrilled, so you don't split the wood, lattice, and garden bed wall) or predrill into your bed wall and add a galvanized screw, and then use string to run between screws. It will be hard to add more compost in the coming years with the lattice on the bed.

Because I used planter blocks, I have extra space on the front of the bed, which I will use for green onions. Also, I have a little extra on the side.

Square Foot Garden Bed


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