Sunday, April 10, 2011

Square Foot Garden bed build

Seems with the nice weather  social opportunities increase so there isn't as much time to work on things as I'd like. Good things happen to those that say "Yes." Had a wonderful afternoon yesterday with old friends. 

But today I wanted to get the  boxes filled and the grids laid out.

We fill the beds with equal parts (by volume) of compost (I used composted horse manure, and purchased mushroom and cow manure compost. The book suggests 5 different kinds. I could only find 3 so we'll see what happens), peat, and vermiculite.

You mix the compost first. Left to right, cow, mushroom. horse. I did this in a tarp as recommended.

By lifting one side of the tarp I could tumble the compost together to make a nice homogenized mix. I worked my way around the tarp multiple times to get a nice mix.

Add an equal volume of peat, and repeat the tumbling.

Repeat the process with the vermiculite.

Use the tarp to get it to the bed, dump it in and rake smooth.  Repeat for all beds. The smaller beds took 8 cubic feet of mix each, the larger took 14 cubic feet. Calculations are in the book. If you want to know, just ask.

Through the magic of the Internet, POOF! All done filling the beds! In actuality, working by myself, it took about an hour and a half.  I won't need to do it again, so that is nice.

At this point I have nice fluffy raised beds, but the point is to follow the SFG method. So out comes the trusty tape measure.

I measured and marked the frames, used some slat material and nailed them every foot.

The final step is to add the long pieces. The book suggests drilling a hole at the intersections and attaching with a nut & bolt. I decided to weave the long pieces in and out and let the tension hold it in place. Again, we'll see how that works out for me.

Repeat with the rest of the beds.

You can see why it is called square foot. About a month out from putting in most of the garden.

Still to do, add upright supports to the right of the long beds, I'll grow tomatoes, cucumbers and squash there,  I'm also going to mulch the entire back area that was the lawn, one less thing to cut.

Of course the perennial beds are in dire need of attention, which they will receive in turn.

Until next time, Keep Digging & Eat Well!

The Gastronomic Gardener
Garden blog
Cooking blog
Twitter -


  1. Dave, looks great. Yeah for friends and less mowing. Looks like you will be in great shape for when you plant. Keep up the good work. I also enjoy the power of the internet.


  2. Looks brilliant. Can picture it already.

  3. @Spencer - Thanks! It will be interesting/

    @Irishone - I can picture it too!

  4. Looks good, Dave. I think I might give it a shot. Thanks for the posts and tips.

  5. These look very nice. All that wood must have cost a fortune though!

  6. David, I had to chuckle when I saw your approach to mixing the compost - you treat it just like you do your food ingredients on you other blog (which is no bad thing!).
    I'm not convinced that all the "hardware" is necessary. I get a fair bit of produce from my veg patch without bothering with the "science" of SFG, but I will be following your efforts with interest. If anyone can make a success of this, I reckon it's you!

  7. Hi VGC - Thanks for stopping by! - It was less than $80, are fortunes relative?

    @Mark - Funny but accurate observation! Another fellow I know said to dispense with the wood grid and go with sturdy string or twine. I may do that to maximize the space.

  8. You have it all planned out. Thanks for the detailed description. I might just try this method sometime! Yay, veggie planting is only about one month away!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...