Popularised in the 80’s with a successful book and TV show, Mel Bartholomew created the square foot gardening (or SFG) method to drastically cut down on weeding during the vegetable growing season. Sounds too good to be true, eh?

Raised Vegetable Bed - The Garden Style Company 

We’re so into the SFG method that we stock ready-prepared raised beds that are all ready for you to get going straight away. Our raised SFG raised beds come ready-made with twelve square modules and are raised to make sure that everyone can have a go at home vegetable growing.

The Rules

Deep raised beds signify a bed designed on the SFG system. Typically these are 4x4 (a square foot) and about 12 inches deep. This is to give your veggies plenty of space for the root system, good access to nutrients from the soil, and to help support good drainage. 

Soil mix is dictated by the SFG method to ensure ease and to maximise vegetable growth. Bartholomew advocates a strict ratio of vermiculite, compost, and peat moss. Now, this is where we environmentally minded folk come a little unstuck with this method. We can’t suggest in good conscious, that you use peat-based products (see our previous post on environmental gardening for the reasons why). Instead, why not use your own perfectly balanced soil mix? As long as you know it works for vegetable growing, we see no reason why your mix can’t work just as well.

Don’t walk on the soil! Bartholomew was one of the first gardeners to introduce a no-dig garden. He pointed out that as long as you don’t walk over your soil, you shouldn’t need to dig. This means that there is no need to worry about compacting your soil, which has to be a good thing for the plants trying to grow there.

Square planting means that plants are sown in squares according to the space they need. For example, small plants like carrots, peas, and radishes can share their square with a number of other plants like 16 radish plants per square. Larger plants, on the other hand, don’t have to share their squares with big vegetables like the ever-popular kale, being planted at one per square.

Easy Veggies

Easy vegetables to get started with using the SFG method are courgettes, potatoes (so easy they even grow in your cupboard and compost bin!), salad leaves, peas, onions, and garlic. All these vegetables are super straightforward and don’t need any particularly special instructions.

Next steps

If you’re ready to step up a gear with your vegetable production, you might want to wait for a future post we’ve got in the pipeline on crop rotation and companion planting.

Raised Vegetable Bed with tomatoes - The Garden Style Company

In conclusion, we’ve seen excellent results from the Square Foot Gardening Method and we love how it makes gardening accessible to people who perhaps struggle with some of the heavier aspects of veg growing. To make it even easier, why don’t you check out our brilliant pre-prepared SFG raised beds?