Square Foot Garden

A Square foot garden is a new way of growing more in less space. A hardware store will have everything you need to build this simple garden guaranteed to provide your family and friends with fresh produce this winter.

What You Need for your Square Foot Garden

  • 4 pine boards (1192 x 150 x 44 mm)
  • 6 pine cover strips (1235 x 32 x 10 mm)
  • 9 hexagon set screws and nuts (6 x 16 mm)
  • 16 chipboard smooth shank screws (6 x 75 mm)
  • 12 chipboard smooth shank screws (4 x 30 mm)
  • 10 bags Lush Compost
  • 2 kg vermiculite
  • 2 kg peat moss
  • 1 trellis panel (900 x 1500 mm)
  • 2 x 4 m lengths PVC conduit (20 mm)
  • 1 x FrostGard (3 x 10 m)
  • WeedGard
  • 20 tack nails (6 mm)

Tools for your Square Foot Garden

Electric drill, cordless drill and screw attachment, carpenter’s hammer, flat and ring spanner and safety gloves

How to Build Your Square

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

square foot garden

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

Step 3: Cover the base of the framework with WeedGard, tacking it into place using the tack nails.

square foot garden

Step 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.

Step 5: On the framework, position of 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 30 mm shank screws. Drill 6 mm holes into both strips where they overlap at the cross and fix them using the hexagon set screws. Attach the nut underneath each piece.

square foot garden

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

Step 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 FrostGard.

square foot garden


Each square is now ready for planting. Use the following guide to see how many plants of each variety fit into one square. For more information on Square Foot Gardening see the Growing Herbs article on page XX.

Plant Spacing

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

Winter Tip

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 winter crop be sure to cover your garden with FrostGard whenever it is really cold.

The Gardener