Square-foot gardening is a new way of growing more in less space. This simple garden is guaranteed to provide your family and friends with fresh produce this summer.

(available in DIY stores)

4 pine boards (1192 x 140 x 44mm)
6 pine cover strips (1235 x 32 x 10mm)
9 hexagon set screws and nuts (6 x 16 mm)
16 chipboard smooth shank screws (6 x 75mm)
12 chipboard smooth shank screws (4 x 30mm)
10 bags compost
2 kg vermiculite
2 kg peat moss
1 trellis panel (900 x 1500mm)
2 x 4m lengths PVC conduit (20 mm)
Weed-protection sheeting
Frost-protection sheeting (3 x 10m)
20 tack nails (6mm)

Electric drill
Cordless drill and screw attachment
Carpenter’s hammer
Flat and ring spanner
Safety gloves

1. Stack the four pine boards and drill three holes in the end of each board, 22mm from the edge.

2. Assemble the boards in a square and secure them by screwing the 6 x 75mm shank screws through the drilled holes.

3. Cover the base of the framework with the weed protection sheeting, tacking it into place using the tack nails.

4. Eradicate any grass and weeds from the chosen location in the garden. Position the box and fill it to one third of its depth with a mixture of compost, vermiculite and peat moss. Water well, repeating the process three times until the top of the box is reached.

5. On the framework, position the six cover strips so that the box is divided into 16 equal planting squares. Screw the cover strips to the framework using the 4 x 30mm shank screws. Drill 6mm holes into both strips where they overlap at the cross and fix them using the hexagon set screws. Attach the nut underneath each piece.

6. Secure the trellis to the back of the box for trailing plants, using four of the 6 x 75mm shank screws.

7. Bend two pieces of conduit diagonally between the inside corners of the box. Drill a hole through the two pieces of pipe where they intersect at the top and secure them with a nut and bolt for extra stability. Cover the frame with frost-protection sheeting.

Each square is now ready for planting. Use the following guide to see how many plants of each variety fit into one square.

Extra-large plants – 1 per square
Broccoli, cabbage and pepper
Large plants – 4 per square
Lettuce, Swiss chard and marigolds
Medium plants – 9 per square
Bush beans, spinach and beetroot
Small plants – 16 per square
Carrots, radish and onions

Once you have completed building this square-foot garden you are going to want to start planting immediately. Depending on the region in which you live, there are still plenty of vegetables you can plant now. Start by growing varieties of lettuce and spinach, hardy leafy crops such as kale and a number of oriental vegetables. You can also plant some members of the onion family. To get the most out of your crop be sure to cover your garden with frost-protection sheeting whenever it is really cold.

MAKE A SQUARE FOOT GARDEN MAKE A SQUARE FOOT GARDEN Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on October 27, 2020 Rating: 5
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