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How to Plan a Square Foot Gardening Layout

Square foot gardening uses boxed-in beds to grow vegetables and other plants in square-foot sections. Here are some tips for planning one.


  • Step 1: Sketch the garden bed Sketch the proposed garden bed on a piece of graph paper, labeling the compass directions and locating any surrounding landmarks.
  • TIP: The boundaries of a square foot garden bed do not have to be square. Although the boundaries are usually wooden planks, they can be almost anything -- even old tires.
  • Step 2: Decide what you are going to grow Decide what you are going to grow and how much space you will need. For example, in a one-foot-square section, you could grow one cabbage, four lettuces, or 16 carrots. Space requirements may be found on seed packages or online.
  • Step 3: Decide where you will plant your vegetables Decide where you will plant your vegetables in the bed. Keep in mind that taller plants should be placed on the north side of the bed so they do not shade shorter ones.
  • Step 4: Complete your sketch Complete your graph paper sketch and then build your garden. When harvest time comes, harvest a square foot, add compost, and replant your garden with a new and different crop.
  • FACT: A well-planned asparagus bed can last from 20 to 30 years.

You Will Need

  • Graph paper
  • Planting strategies
  • Plants
  • Compost
  • Wooden boards (optional)
  • Old tires (optional)

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