Square foot gardening

Square foot gardening is a great way to save money and produce loads of tasty and nutritious fruit and vegetables for your family.

At times where the costs of living seem to be exploding and the quality of many commercially produced food products is often in question it can be very rewarding to start a vegetable garden at home.

A square foot garden is ideal for this and can be done on the tiniest bit of space available.

Most people that love this gardening style work on a space of 4 x 4 feet. This space will be divided into 16 square foot pieces which will be used to grow different crops. Each small square will  be planted with either 1, 4, or 9 seedlings. 

This garden is divided into 9 square feet and has  been planted with several kinds of  tomato plans, Swiss chard and herbs.

The square foot gardening project

The quantity of seedlings that are planted in the squares depend on the size of the plants once they are fully grown. Read the instructions on the back of your seed packet to find out about the suggested spacing distance of your vegetables.

Spacing      -    Plants per square

+12 inches      -           1 seedling

6 inches          -            4 seedlings

4 inches          -            9 seedlings

3 inches          -           16 seedlings

This small piece of soil was prepared to be used for my vegetable garden.

It is important to use the available space completely and plant the right amount of seedlings into the squares. This way the plants will grow to support each other and build a kind of canopy protecting the soil from drying out to quickly.


The suggested space of 4 feet by 4 feet is easy manageable but if you have less space you can adapt the size you want to work with to even smaller patches of ground. The piece of garden I utilized for my square foot gardening project was big enough for 9 squares (3 x 3 feet).

Large tomato plants in my vegetable garden.

It was big enough for me and I harvested loads and loads of tasty tomatoes, chard and herbs.


Below I will give you a step by step to do list to start your own square foot gardening project.

  • Prepare your designated ground for your food garden. Remove all old plants, stones and roots. Add a mix of organic growing medium to your ground. I used a mix of 1 Part sand, 1 part composted horse manure and 1 part worm castings. (5 liter of growing mix per square foot should be sufficient.) Dig the whole ground up to a depth of about 12 inches and mix the growth medium into the soil. Than water the ground and let it stand for a few days.
  • Use planks or bricks to build the boundaries of your squares. Either one will be fine and will enable you to water the plants without standing on the soil and compacting it.



  • Plant your seedlings in the squares and water well.
  • Depending on the weather conditions water the vegetable seedlings either once or twice a day for about 2 weeks. In cooler weather once a day should be fine.
  • When you water make sure you don't stand on the soil but rather make use of the bricks.
  • Once the plants are established reduce the watering to once a day or once every other day.
  • When fruit and vegetables are ripe harvest and replace the old plants with new seedlings. 

Juicy roma tomatoes.

The beauty of square foot gardening is that you can continue to produce food for your table all year round.

It can be done by beginners and people with just a tiny bit of space available in their garden or backyard. Once you get your first harvest you will probably get ready to start your next square food garden. The results are just

tremendous. The fruit and vegetables that you can produce are tastier and healthier than most products you can buy commercially. We always use earthworms, worm tea and worm castings to increase the productivity or our garden.

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