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Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening is really helpful to beginner vegetable gardeners but if you've been gardening for years and haven't tried it, give it a go - its amazing how many more plants you\ll pack into a small space! Remember that raised beds post from last month...well square foot gardening is taking advantage of small spaces with raised beds to maximize your plant output. But the difference is the placement of plants.

How to make a Square Foot garden

1) First you need to find a sunny, reasonably level site or raised bed, whether that is on gravel, concrete, or your lawn. You want your site be big enough to have space to walk all around.

2) If you're making a raised bed, find some planks of wood approximately 7 inches wide. For a 3 ft X, 4 ft garden, screw your planks together to make a 3 X 4 ft frame. Place the frame where you want to plant it. The biggest you should go is 5ft x 5 ft as otherwise it will be hard to reach the centre to weed!

3) Add some compost, then raking the surface flat. You might want to put a layer of brown cardboard first, as this will help suppress the weeds.

4) Now it's time to make the square foot guide!

Cut bamboos to size. For a 3 X 4 ft bed, you need two 4 ft and three 3 ft bamboos. These can be laid in place 1 foot apart and tied together securely where they cross. If you have a drill, they can be left longer and slipped into holes in the timber 1 ft apart and a little above the soil level.If you don't have bamboo to hand, you can use string and sticks for the same e

5) Plant the seedlings. An example of how to plant your vegetables would be to have four lettuce plants in a square foot, nine rocket plants in the next square foot etc. Try to have companion plants beside each other and avoid any unhappy plant combinations (e.g. potatoes and courgette) !

6) Label all your plants so you know exactly where everything is using eco friendly plastic-free plant labels.

7) Write it all down in a notebook so you can rotate your crops next season!

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