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An investment in square foot gardening

2994 Views 45 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  Daisygirl
~SFG is something I've wanted to do for almost 10 years but the costs involved in the start-up scared me. This post will probably scare you all too. :crackup:
This year I decided I was going to make the investment and not freak out about how much it cost. It's an investment.

Compost: $35
Vermiculite: $89
Peat Moss: $9
Lumber: $36.50
Weed cloth: $20
=$198.50 for 3 4X4 beds

If I can get each square in my garden to produce $5 worth of produce I will come out ahead this year. ;)
I have my own compost going now and I have plenty of seeds so the next 10 years of gardening should be free or nearly free.
My beds look so awesome that I'm really annoyed I waited so long to do this.
Lettuce, peas and spinach will be planted tomorrow. Green beans, sunflowers, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, dill and chives will follow in a couple of weeks.
I'd love tips from anyone who uses this method!~
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This is my third year of square foot gardening. I have four 4 ft. square boxes, a 2-foot wide strip along the fence, and a deep box for root veggies. I've done away with the sq. ft. markers and use a ruler if I need to measure anything. It looks as if this will be the best producing year so far. Already harvested radishes and chard twice, and the peas are just now getting pods. There's a bean coming up - more to follow, and the tomatoes and peppers are growing nicely. And it looks like I'll have a good potato crop, too. I have squashes, cukes, and cantaloupe planted and looking good. When the radishes are done, I'll plant more green beans, and after the peas I'll probably plant more chard and maybe some okra.
The initial investment in both money and labor is high, but the soil stays loose, so there's no plowing and tilling, weeds are very manageable, and I plant things closer together than I would in a dirt garden. I do have to water more often, since most of the garden is only 6 inches deep. Making my own compost from shredded leaves, coffee grounds, and tea leaves saves a lot of money, and I use pine straw, which is abundant here, as mulch.
I grew herbs in the garden the first year, but now I grow them in hanging baskets outside my kitchen. Much more convenient and they stay in bounds.
I hope you enjoy the garden as much as I do.
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