Friday, June 13, 2014

The Square Foot Gardening Experiment

About 4 years ago we built 5 garden boxes using 2X12 pine, not pressure treated, lumber. We built two 4'X4' boxes and three 2'X8' boxes.

The "square foot" garden boxes work exactly as they are supposed to - you have a limited space to grow a few of your favorite vegetables. The downside is that you have a limited space to grow a few of your favorite vegetables!

I've decided to remove the garden boxes and create one large vegetable garden, similar to my fruit and herb garden.

We removed one of the front 2'X8's last fall and it left this uneven configuration:

The boxes are annoying to mow around, and you have to weed between them constantly. Things grow in 2 seconds!

To the right of the boxes is what I call the "dead zone" - deep shade from the tropical almond and the brush pile.

Lots of wasted space here just begging for a garden.  It gets about the same amount of light as where I grow my bok choy so it should be okay.  If not, we'll see about removing that tree.

I'll tie it all in with another brick border that will curve around from the far left box to the front right box, taking out another chunk of grass (oh, isn't that a shame!).
It will be quite an undertaking, but I'm really excited about it.  If my fruit and herb garden hadn't been so successful, I wouldn't have the confidence to take this project on.

When I built the fruit and herb garden, I weeded the whole area then didn't get it mulched for several weeks.  I ended up having to reweed the whole thing.  I have a better plan this time around. Here's my strategy:
  1. Fill my big buckets with mulch
  2. Scrape/weed with my nifty nejiri scraper tool
  3. Immediately cover with newspaper/cardboard and heavy layer of mulch
  4. Repeat!  
The key is to get my load of mulch first.  If it sits a week or two no big deal.  It will be ready for me when I get the weeding done.  Lesson learned!


  1. I'm always learning and relearning those lessons in the garden. Especially the weeding and not mulching, and I have the bags of mulch sitting on the driveway! No excuse! lol!