By Vina Medenilla

If your goal is to make your garden productive with the use of minimal space, beginning a square foot garden for your vegetables is a perfect way to go. This is suitable for growers in urban and metropolitan areas with small spaces as well as for those who want to maximize their backyard garden.

Square foot gardening is growing plants in a raised bed that is equally divided into squares and planted with different crops in each plot.

As part of Urban AgriSerye, an online initiative to provide information to people via the internet despite the COVID-19 situation, Agriculture Training Institute (ATI) shares how to put up a square foot garden in four steps:

Plot

Using wooden boards, create a 4×4 bed. Get cardboard or weed-blocking fabric and place it inside the wooden bed.  Make sure that the box can be filled with soil with a minimum depth of six inches.

Soil

You will need a soil mix composed of one-third compost, one-third carbonized rice hull (CRH), and one-third garden soil. After mixing, put it in your square foot garden bed; this must be six to eight inches thick.

Grid

Using a string, make your grids. Using grids can help you determine the number of plants you can sow in each plot. This can be composed of one large plant, nine smaller plants, four medium plants, and 16 extra small plants. There are different plant combinations that you can plant together. Carefully research the plants prior to planting them together to be able to get a bountiful produce in the coming months.

Care and Maintenance

Your garden must last for years without you having to change the soil. Just add fresh organic soil or compost to it from time to time. Watering must be accomplished every day and must be made in the morning, as it might attract fungus if the plants are watered at night. Lastly, do not step on the soil or the plants.

For home gardening, this method is favorable for growers with small-scale gardens or  first-time urban gardeners as it can produce more harvests even in just a small area.

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