SFG layout

Overal view of left side of garden

Overal view of left side of garden

Overall view of right side of garden
Overall view of right side of garden
Smart Pot
Smart Pot

Planning a semi-permanent garden style and layout is definately a big decision. I think that more than anything, it’s important to read as much as you can about a certain style and gather as many opinions from different people as you can, as well as attend some gardening classes if they are available. And even then, the only way to learn how to garden is to get out and garden!

For such a long time I would buy books, magazines and just dream about gardening and what I would do if I had a garden. And then one day I realized that if what I really wanted was a garden, I was the only one who was going to do it! It just really hit me that sitting around dreaming and thinking about it wasn’t going to get it done. I needed to get up and do it. Now, our back yard has been through a few phases in the short 4 years that we have lived here. I have been a fan of Mel Bartholomew’s book, “All New Square Foot Gardening”, after purchasing his previous edition off of a sale rack at the local book store. I have pored over those pages at night and carted it around in my car to read when I had spare time. So, I knew that I wanted to try it. So, I carted home some cement blocks from Home Depot and made a 4 foot by 4 foot square and filled it with soil and started a garden. It didn’t look very pretty. And I discovered that black widows loved to get up in the brick. This freaked me out and freaked my kids out. So, we moved the garden to the back corner of the yard.

My husband took all spring and into the summer 2 years ago to put the fencing in. That was a definate chore. But, necessary, considering that we have a crazy dog who likes to run through everything. And, it does look nice. But the general layout was done by me, with cedar boards screwed together as directed in Mel Bartholomew’s book. I did one bed at a time, because it was hard work. And I filled them with garden soil, one bed at a time, for the same reason. So, now I have 4 long beds measuring 4 ft by 12 ft. and 2 beds measuring 3 ft. by 12 ft. I don’t find the thinner beds easier to work with. They are both very easy to garden and plant and turn the soil over in. I have loved this style. I rarely get weeds in them, for whatever reason, I am not sure. I do get weeds in the pathways, which are now covered in small pea gravel. I do have to water every day, though. But the soil is so wonderful to work with, I can handle that. And I really have no tilling to speak of. My opinion of the square foot garden is all positive and if I had to choose all over again, heaven forbid, I would do the same thing.

I am trying a new thing this year. I purchased a “smart pot” from www.gardeners.com and put some russet seed potatoes in it. It is a pot that is a permeable fabric. It definately waters well. We will see how it does. I am kicking around the idea of purchasing another one to put some red potatoes in it.
In the picture above of the overall view of the left side of the garden, you can see that some of the broccoli has gone to seed. What happened was that in the fall, I planted some cabbage and broccoli in that bed. I then proceeded to schedule our family up so much with holiday activities that I was pretty worn out and just couldn’t muster up any energy to garden. I don’t think I watered that garden more than a handful of times. So, it was extremely nice of the weather to cooperate with me and give us all that rain. But when I went out to check out how the garden was looking a couple of months ago, I found the broccoli all gone to seed and covered in bees. And because I really need those bees, I have kind of left it that way for them. They really don’t bother me at all when I am watering. They are just busy little bees…
As you can see, the zucchini have gotten so much bigger since the previously posted picture. Seeds are the way to go! So easy, so much cheaper, and if they don’t sprout, put another seed in! No big deal!!!


  1. ceara08 said

    Now that is a garden! So neat and tidy and probably really easy to cultivate.

    Great job!

  2. erin said

    Your garden looks awesome! We really need to get out there. Bruce starting planting some tomatoes, zucchini, and squash. We love our house, but we have been jipped on the backyard. There’s really very little room for a garden. We’re still trying to figure out what to do.

  3. David said

    Great looking vegetable garden! I do square foot gardening as well. This is my first year of doing it.
    I am jealous of your potato in a bag (that’s what that is right?). I am doing potatoes in bags as well but I am using plain yard bags.

    I love the cinder block fence. You don’t see that around here much.

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