Friday, March 5, 2010


 This year I decided to try out square foot gardening. In the past I have grown mostly peppers. I have had pretty good success growing in containers but this year I want to try something different.

I went this morning and bought everything I think I'm going to need for construction of the boxes. I decided to build 2 4'x4' boxes. I was a little worried about the 6" depth so I will be using 2x8" untreated pine wood.
For the soil I will be using something close to the traditional Mel's Mix. I couldn't find five sources of compost so I will only be using cow and mushroom. I was able to find vermiculite at a local feed store, and I found baled peat moss at Lowes. I am also adding a couple cubic feet of Miracle Grow organic vegetable soil for good measure. I have used MG in the past for my peppers and have had good results.
I also purchased the hardware from Lowes. I have wood screws, small eye bolts, and polypropylene twine.


This was pretty straight forward. I started out with four 8 foot boards. I cut them all in half to make eight 4 foot boards.
I laid four board out into a box shape and screwed them together using 3" wood screws. I had a box of 25 screws so each corner got three.
After both boxes were put together I marked 1' lines on each side. I'm using small eye bolts to hold the string for my grid. The eye bolts were a pain to screw in. I don't recommend using them but if you do pilot holes are a must. Small nails would have been much faster and easier.


Making the mix was the most time consuming and labor intensive part. I started by laying out a large tarp.

Next I dumped compost, vermiculite, and peat moss in the middle of the tarp. I used a rake to spread the pile out evenly and then pulled the corners of the tarp to the middle. I repeated that process until it was an even mixture.

Then I put a layer of landscape fabric under my boxes to keep the weeds and grass from growing up into my garden.

Once the landscape fabric was down I had to move my huge pile of mix into the boxes. I had a helper for this part.

The last step was to use my twine and eye bolts to make a grid. 16 total squares per box.