Square Foot Gardening-Update

I am continuing to love the idea of Square Foot Gardening and I THINK IT IS WORKING!  So far, I have planted some cool weather crops.  Its funny–before reading the book, I didn’t know there were cool weather and warm weather plants–I had a lot to learn!!  I planted spinach, carrots and radishes from seed.  Onions were sets, and I bought transplants for lettuce and red swiss chard.  Everything seems to be coming along just fine.   I’m a bit worried about the carrots, they just look so fragile!  I bought seeds for short, baby carrots.  I probably won’t plant carrots again, they are just so reasonably priced at the store, and they take up 2 squares, which will only produce 32 carrots.  I know my girls will have them eaten in a week, so it doesn’t seem worth it.

As you can see in the picture, I built a cage to keep out bunnies, squirrels and birds.  It has worked beautifully (see Square Foot Gardening book for directions). When I first planted seeds, I covered the cage in plastic using wooden clips to keep it in place.  It created a wonderful environment for the seeds to keep moist, warm, and safe from wind and hard rain.  It was not much fun to build… chicken wire is not my best friend, I needed a manicure after working with it!  I have to build one more cage for my second bed so I can get some warmer weather crops going.  I will also have to build some type of support for vining plants, like cucumbers and squash.

swiss chard

I have really liked the soil mix I am using.  It is called “Mel’s Mix” from Square Foot Gardening.  It is amazing how long it stays moist, and the texture is just perfect. It is 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 compost.  He gives details about the mix in the book, it is a little pricey up front, but each year you just have to add a bit more compost to your beds, so it is a one time expense.  I will be mixing up another 1/2 batch for my tomato, pepper and green bean pots.

I have tomato plants and pepper plants happy in my sunroom, ready to be planted out in pots, in a week or so. My little sugar snap pea seeds sprouted, they look so cute raising their little heads to the sky!  I also started some lettuce mix and basil transplants, and both have sprouted and are looking good. I bought herbs and will show you my herb pot soon, and write a post on our little strawberry patch. Whew.

So far, so good!!
Any comments, thoughts or advice is appreciated!

This post is linked to:
Saturday Is Crafty Day @ Along For The Ride
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative
Made It Mondays @ The Persimmon Perch
Get Your Craft On @ Today’s Creative Blog
Show And Tell @ Blue Cricket Design
Sunday Favorites @ Happy To Design
Penny Pinching Party @ The Thrifty Home

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  • Anonymous
    January 29, 2014 at 4:13 am

    Hi! I am finally got a little spot in the community garden! I don’t know what I need to do to start……someone please let me know what I need to do to start!

  • Anonymous
    April 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Hi! I’m curious how your chicken wire is working at keeping out critters. I have some very tall tomatoes and don’t understand how I can build a cage that will keep squirrels out and let the tomatoes be as tall as they want to be… can you post more photos of the cage? What’s the top like? how tall is it?

  • Garden seeds
    February 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks for the post mate you have written it very well.

  • Anonymous
    June 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm


  • Chari at Happy To Design
    May 3, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Hi Amy…

    My friend, it’s so nice to have you join in with the fun of Sunday Favorites…WELCOME!!! What a great post to share with us…I love your “square foot” garden! I’ll have to do a little research on it…have never heard of the concept before! But…your garden looks so pretty and it is coming along soooo nicely! Ohhh…and there isn’t anything like fresh veggies!!! BRAVO, my friend!!!

    So sorry that I’m just now getting by for a visit…I was out of town yesterday! It’s so nice to meet you, Amy! I hope that you will join in with Sunday Favorites again!!!

    Have a marvelous Monday, my friend!
    Chari @Happy To Design

  • Cathy
    May 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Love your square foot gardening! I have always wanted to give this a try…you have inspired me!

    I am new to your blog and became a follower…I look forward to many more visits!


  • Laura
    May 2, 2010 at 1:12 pm


    I found your blog through Sunday Favorites.
    My current post is on some gardening I am doing that is loosely based on square foot gardening.
    (loosely is an understatement!)
    Yours looks amazing.

    I am now a follower.
    I’ll be back. Stop by if you have time.

    White Spray Paint

  • Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden
    April 27, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Looking good! We just built another raised bed this weekend. I think I’m going to try out the Mel’s mix. We have horrible clay soil here.

    Thanks for the garden update!

  • Sara
    April 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Your garden looks delicious! Was it a cloudy day when you took these pictures? Everything seems to have a glow. Very nice!!

  • Our Lives
    April 26, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Your SFG looks wonderful! I was so inspired and went on Amazon to order the book! I have some pots but really want to see if the SFG would work in a small patio as well. 🙂

  • Emily {Frilly Details}
    April 27, 2010 at 12:47 am

    What a great garden!! I love it 🙂

  • Amy @
    April 26, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Every spring I say to myself “this year I will plant a garden.” And each fall I’m hungry for the garden that I never planted. This year I’m determined to have a little garden but can’t get the motivation to build one. Maybe after reading your post, I will start one soon….maybe.

  • Mandy
    April 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    We’re on the search for vermicullite!

    I have a link party on Tuesdays and would love to have you stop by:

  • Kate
    April 26, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Your plants look beautiful so I think they’re really happy w/ the soil you picked too!

  • Holly
    April 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Wow! I am very impressed with your garden! I keep thinking I should give it a try, and after seeing yours I just might! It’s not only functional but pretty 🙂

  • Amanda
    April 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • Sparta Savings
    April 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Your Square Foot Garden looks beautiful! I’ve been doing this for years, but have taken it to a larger scale this year (we are having a 5th this summer)! Mine doesn’t look this beautiful, but for sure, I think this is the best way to go! Good luck. Joining you from The Girl Creative

  • followingtheroad
    April 26, 2010 at 5:28 am

    What a fun idea! I love the square gardens. So much variety in a small space.

  • Amy Bowman
    April 25, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    @Marie-I checked out your site, so fun seeing the kiddos help you paint the garden! You will love Mel’s mix, especially if you have been fighting bad soil. I saw you have me in your side bar blog roll. Thanks so much…I will be doing a post soon featuring blogs who give me that honor!:)
    @Laura-how fun to have a husband who is into gardening. I’ve seen others have much success with bucket gardens.
    @erin-that is actually a cage, it lifts right off. It is really light, almost too light. I had to lay a shovel on top during a thunderstorm last night to weigh it down. Good question, it is hard to know what does or doesn’t show up in photos… glad you asked.

  • erin
    April 25, 2010 at 11:22 am

    OK – I thought of another question. How do you get in the garden if your little fence is in place? Do you just lean over – or does it come off? We have bunnies all over the yard – so I need to have a fence too. I do have the book – I will need to check it out. Your pictures are better than the book though. I think I skipped the chapter about fences. 🙂

  • Laura
    April 25, 2010 at 2:47 am

    My husband is looking to make a bucket garden…yours looks great. Thanks for linking up to Saturday is Crafty Day @ along for the ride! Hope to see you back next week!

  • Marie
    April 24, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    I’m working on a square foot garden this year, too! We haven’t had much luck with traditional gardens the past few years because our soil isn’t great, and we don’t get a ton of sunlight. I’m hoping this works! I filled my boxes with Mel’s mix yesterday and painted my wood lath today. I didn’t get it in gear for the cool crops, but I should be good to go with the summer crops! I look forward to following your garden success through the summer! I’ll post about mine when it’s planted:) (saw you on along for the ride)

  • Amy Bowman
    April 24, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    @amy-thank you!
    @ sarah-good luck with yours, looking forward to hearing about your plans..will you blog about them?
    @coach-if I can do it, anyone can!
    @the momma-thanks. wondering where you you blog about your garden?
    @crystal-thanks, I wouldn’t say I have patience:)
    @santas gift shoppe-thank you.
    @Ange-thanks, love getting a comment from you!
    @simpledayandlife-it must be popular?? I wish I could find more out there about it…thanks for your comment
    @erin-your mom is kind to let you steal:) Buying the plants gives instant satisfaction, you feel like you are getting somewhere faster. I am putting tomatoes and peppers in pots because only wanted to build 2 small beds this year, which left no room for tomatoes and peppers.
    If I love it, I will build one more next year. Uh-oh, I have not heard that about sugar snap peas, guess I need to read more! Mine are doing great so far…but they are still babies! Would love to know how yours is going when you start…do you have the book?

  • erin
    April 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Amy,
    I stole my mom’s square foot bed from her garden last year (and all the Mel’s mix soil!!) I am going to start planting this week. I started nothing from seed, so I have to go and buy the plants this week. Can I ask why you are putting peppers, tomatoes and green beans in pots instead of the 4X4? just curious because I will be growing those things too. Also, I LOVE sugar snap peas, but was told they are hard to grow or high maintenence. Is that true?

  • simpledayandlife
    April 24, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    This is the fiftieth time I’ve heard about Square Foot Gardening this week. I’m going to have to check this out! Your beds look so lovely!

  • Ange
    April 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Such a great post and very helpful as we plan to start our garden in 2 weeks. You did a great job!!

  • Crystal & Co
    April 24, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Beautiful! I wish I had the time and the patience to do that!

  • Santa's Gift Shoppe and Ideas
    April 24, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Love your garden…great job!!Hi..I’m Barb from Fri. Follow. I am your newest follower. I hope you will get a chance to visit my blog @
    & get inspired by something for your family/home. I hope you will follow me as well.

  • Coach J
    April 23, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    So cute! I’ve yet to try gardening, as I usually kill plants, but I’m going to give it a go this summer.

  • the momma
    April 24, 2010 at 2:54 am

    Your garden looks great! This is our third year with a little garden–and the kids LOVE it! Nothing beats using something you grew YOURSELF when cooking. Enjoy! All my seedlings are still indoors here–I can’t start moving things outside until mid-May :0( But we’re getting there!

  • Sarah @ Mum In Bloom
    April 23, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Amy your garden looks great. Mine is soooo at the beginning stages but we hope to put soil in the raised garden this weekend. I’ve enjoyed yours posts on this method.

  • Amy
    April 23, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Your garden looks lovely! Thank you for sharing-

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