When I was growing up, my parents were avid gardeners. They grew tomatoes, rows of sweet corn, radishes, rhubarb, and all sorts of other things which would get frozen, canned or simply eaten up at the end of the growing season. Even today, Dad can grow a tomato plant taller than himself.
With the cost of groceries on the rise, the thought of growing some fresh produce on my own has been tempting. However, I’ve always been a little overwhelmed by the thought of plowing under an entire portion of my backyard to get started. This year, I wanted to do something a little bit more ambitious than herbs on my windowsill and tomatoes in containers on the deck.
For our family, a small square foot garden made a lot of sense. It’s a great way for a novice like me to step into the world of gardening in an easy, simple way. It doesn’t require extensive care and maintenance, and the kids each get a little section of their own to care for and harvest when the time comes.
(2) 2” x 8 “ x 6’
(2) 2” x 8” x 4’
Lathe or twine to divide box into 1 foot square sections
1. Screw 4’ sections and 6’ sections together at corners to make a 4’ x 6’ rectangle.
2. Lay landscape fabric down and place 4’ x 6’ rectangle box over fabric. Choose a spot that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.
3. Fill with dirt, soil, etc. to six inches depth.
4. Screw or nail lathe or twine to box to make 24 one foot squares.
The cost for the materials were just $20, not including the dirt. We spent about $60 on the plants themselves. We would have saved even more by growing them from seed, something I may attempt next year. Who knows how much return we’ll yield on our investment, but the National Gardening Association estimates a $70 investment in gardening will yield $600 in produce. If we can come even halfway to that figure, I’ll be satisfied.