Building Our First SFG (Square Foot Garden)

Hi, I'm Heather and this handsome guy in the wheelchair is my hubby, Steve. Steve is a quadriplegic, technically. He has an incomplete C 6-7 2 and T 11-12 sci (spinal cord injuries.)
We both love to garden and have had a few of the tilled varieties over the years. These gardens were harder for Steve to work and get around in so we wanted something that would make it easier. We bought this All New Square Foot Gardening book at Lowes hardware and we are now trying to turn the idea of an sfg (square foot garden) into reality.
We no sooner put the dirt in our new SFG (Square Foot Garden) gardens and the locals started digging and nosing around in our luxurious Mels Mix (our dirt). Here are just a few of our bothers. The ducks and the cat sat there beside us the whole time as we assembled our SFG's. Well, this certainly was not going to work. These guys would have all of our seeds and plants pulled out in no time. So we did what Mel suggests. Mel is the guy who wrote the book The All New Square Foot garden. We then proceeded to build a cage to go around the garden to protect it while our young seedlings sprouted. We also added our grid. This is the thing that separates your square foot garden into squares. Each square is one foot by one foot. Our two bigger SFG's are 4×4 feet and our smaller SFG is 2×2 feet. We started with the 2×2 foot one as we were kind of winging building the cage, not exactly by the book.
We decided to plant blue jade corn seeds in all four squares of this 2×2′ square foot garden. This corn is supposed to only grow to three feet tall and have three to six ears per stalk. It is a sweet corn and the corn is actually blue and it turns a jade blue when cooked.
According to Our All New Square Foot Gardening Book, you plant different amounts of vegetables or flowers or whatever it is you decide to plant in it, according to their type. Tomatoes and peppers are one plant per square foot.
We are planting tall things that will vine and grow upwards on the back and left sides of this SFG. We will eventually build a trellis on both sides to support these things. Our plan as of now is to plant Cucumbers – 2 per square - Purple Green Beans – Bush Type – 9 per square, and a Yellow Zucchini Squash – Supposed To Be 1 Per 2 Squares but we are going to try one in a square. In the other squares we plan to plant Lettuce, – 4 per square – Chives – 16 per square – and Dill. The recommendation for how many dill seeds or plants is not in the book so we will probably try and grow about five in one square and see how it goes.
We started building the protective cage for this 4x4' SFG but only got as far as the frame. The weather forecast is calling for rain over the next several days so we are going to have to wait before completing that project, therefore we will have to wait on planting our seeds in this SFG. The ducks or the squirrels would certainly dig them up from our friable soil.

***** New Update *****

Steve built a new trellis for our 4×4 SFG! Now our vining veggies will have the support they need to grow vertically. It is June 3rd 2013 and our garden is growing! We turned our one 4 x 4 into just a raised bed garden for our overflow of tomato and pepper transplants. Our 4 x 4 SFG is doing great! All of the plants seem to LOVE the Mels Mix! We planted some lemon basil in with our dill square and we planted some new lettuce seeds in with our chives since the chives are sparse if even existent. Our blue jade corn seem to be loving their area too! Since Mels Mix is very friable and loose we had to put up some tomato cages around our corn to help to hold them up. We are also trying to train our tomato, zucchini, cucumber and purple beans to grow up their new trellis. Hope you enjoy the new pics. Now we just can't wait for home grown tomato sandwiches!
Reading what the book says to do and trying to figure out how we can combine this mix of soil ingredients. We were not able to do what the book suggested so Steve took a shovel and I took a metal rake and we mixed it all together.
Here is our Mel's Mix mixed.
All protected, we hope!
4x4' sfg containing tomatoes and peppers
Golden Zucchini
Purple Green Beans, Four Varieties of Tomatoes, Butterhead lettuce, Dill, Golden Zucchini, Cucumbers, Lots of Peppers & Lemon Basil
4x4' SFG with 5' Trellis
Golden Zucchini
SFG Veggies
Blue Jade Corn in A 2x2' SFG
5 foot tall trellis for vining vegetables made with conduit and trellis netting
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2 of 12 comments
  • K S K S on Mar 02, 2018

    Have had my "Square Foot Gardening" book since 1986, thank you Mel Bartholomew. Shown in special gardens are planter boxes on saw horses. Am in 60s now and think will try them this year. Also have loads of rabbits around which would truly enjoy a garden feast if boxes were on ground ...

  • Susan Petersen Susan Petersen on Mar 04, 2022

    I just bought Mel's book a couple of weeks ago and will start my SFG this weekend. Your pictures are so encouraging. You see, I am in a wheelchair, too. I used to garden a fair amount but health issues distracted me. I'm 72 now and wasn't sure I could, but seeing your picture I feel more confident.