A square foot garden is simply a gardening box or bed that is divided into equal sized squares with no space between them. Traditional gardening is done in rows with mulched or hoed spaces between, often called garden rows. It allows for quick access to water, weed, and harvest, which has its place in large-scale farming operations.

Here, we use the square foot method and highly recommend it for any home gardener. For each type of plant, from greens to herbs to vegetables, a certain number can grow to their full potential size in a single square foot: one pepper plant, six green leaf lettuces, twelve carrots, two basil plants, and so on. Square foot gardening takes the concepts of companion gardening to the extreme, bringing in more of the benefits. The elimination of walking rows maximizes a limited space while also decreasing the likelihood of soil compaction.

Square foot gardens are easily watered with a drip irrigation system, which we have in most of our garden beds. The close planting reduces weeds as well.  By using the square foot method, a small backyard garden can help provide for the entire family.