{how to} square foot garden {or gardening in small spaces}

I've been gardening my whole life.  If you garden, chances are, there is something in you that just calls you to the garden.  Something about planting a seed and watching it become something you can eat or just enjoy looking at is quite the miracle that I am thrilled to be part of.

When we moved into this house the first I did was throw some plants into the dilapidated plant beds that were here just to see 1) if things would grow and 2) how much sun we got.  This should be the first step to seeing where and if you want to build a square foot garden.  Imagine the space above with all grass and a narrow flower bed off to the left.  That's all I started with here.  Once I knew I got enough sun, I set off turning this into my own little garden wonderland.  It's right off of the kitchen.  If you could look to the right of this photo, you'd see my sliding glass doors.  Everything you see here, I did.  Anyone can.

The first thing I did was till up this whole plot.  But you don't have to do that.  You can just pick a sunny place and lay down some weed blocker (natural or man-made) and build your boxes right on top.   Then I leveled it.  Then I decided the layout that I wanted/could fit in this space.   All of my boxes are built from treated lumber 1in by 8ft by 6in wide, cut into various shapes.  The first four are 4ft by 4ft boxes and the one along the fence there is 2ft by 6ft.

Then I lined them with weed blocker and filled them with soil.  This past year I did have to top them off because they settled so much but that was all I needed to do this year, the hard work was already done!  Here's a great graphic to get you started:  Square Foot Gardening. 

I added some pavers and some stone.  The green you see growing in the path is intentionally planted ground cover.

Below you will find ample photos of my gardens.  In addition to the one you see above, if you could see behind me, I have another set of gardens that are 4ft by 8ft and there are two of them stacked onto one another.  I basically tried to use up the otherwise unusable spaces in the yard without taking outdoor space from the boys.

With all the hard work done, maintaining the garden is relatively easy.  Pest treatment is simple, weeding is effortless and everything grows great! As you will see from all the photos we have a little bit of everything here...blueberries (netted to protect them from the birds), strawberries (that come back on their own every year), tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans, cucumbers, cantaloupes, zucchini, pumpkins, sunflowers, lots of herbs, lettuce and more!  Even if you build ONE 4ft by 4ft garden you can grow so much!  Keep in mind that if you can get something to grow UP instead of OUT you gain more space (I'm training peas, cucumbers and grapes to do just that!)

Don't be afraid to jump in! Google is always there to help!

This is another view of the garden above. 
 And another view...
 I have little patches of lettuce tucked in all around 
 This is a wall of peas, they are trained to grow up and over a little garden fence that I have.

 Beans, staked.

Peas and pansies (that I planted last fall!)
This is the same wall of peas from the other side. 
I've tucked groundcover plants here and there to soften the place up.
Baby grapes!

Cucumbers being trained to grow up the sides of this cage.

I also have several pots full of plants too! This might be a great solution for you if you literally have no place for an actual garden! Look for seeds that have a "grows well in pots" notice on them!
Though not part of the garden, my succulent table is part of the space too! 

This is a good view of the other garden I was telling you about!
Our little fort made from pallets and reclaimed items!

I hope you've enjoyed my little garden tour and that it inspires you to try your own!  Have a super day and weekend!!! xoxo
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