Are you thinking about starting a square foot garden? Square foot gardening is perfect for those who would like to grow kitchen vegetables. When you grow vegetables in your garden, you can save money at the grocery store and continuously grow ingredients to use for different meals.
You may want to grow green beans, lettuce, potatoes, and assorted herbs to use to prepare some of your favorite recipes. If so, you need to know of all the square foot gardening mistakes to avoid. If you understand the mistakes others have made, you can easily avoid them while getting your plants to thrive.
Square Foot Gardening Mistakes to Avoid
Doing Too Much Digging
One mistake people often make when creating a square foot garden is digging too deep. You may think that you need to pull out the shovel and dig through several feet of soil, but this is not the case. It is best to dig about six inches deep before you begin planting your seedlings. When you do too much digging, you are wasting your time and lowering your chances of getting your plants to grow as much as you would like them to.
Not Choosing the Ideal Spot
Choosing an optimal spot for your square foot garden is essential. If you select an area without a combination of direct sunlight and shade, you could have trouble getting certain plants to grow. Some vegetables need to receive a few hours of daylight each day, but you do not want to overdo it with the sunlight.
Because it is so important to choose the ideal spot, plan in advance. Consider monitoring the area you are planning to use as your square foot garden to see how the sun and shade hit that area over the span of several days. You may then decide where you should start your garden.
Not Using the Best Materials
If you plan on starting a square foot garden, you need to use the right materials. There are specific materials that will come in handy for you when you get started, including cardboard or newspaper, large boards, moss, mulch, compost, and high-quality soil.
Do as much research as possible on the materials you are thinking about using before you get started. A lack of proper materials could keep your plants from thriving, which is problematic for you as a gardener.
Not Utilizing Drip Irrigation
You may think it is unnecessary, but drip irrigation is a must-have for a square foot garden. Sure, you can go out and water your square foot garden by hand twice a day, but it requires a lot of effort and time that you might not always have. If you do not want to stress over the idea of watering your plants, you should set up a drip irrigation system.
The system helps water droplets trickle through the soil, reaching the seedlings and helping them transform into full-grown plants that continue to thrive.
Some people skip out on using a drip irrigation system because they have concerns about the cost. While it might sound expensive, you can purchase do-it-yourself irrigation kits online and set them up around your square foot garden. You can also find kits at home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s. Some of the kits are available for less than $60 and are worth the amount spent because of the time and energy saved.
Skipping Out on Using Mulch
Not everyone realizes the importance of using mulch in a square foot garden. It might seem non-essential, but there is more to mulch than meets the eye. Using mulch in your square foot garden is the perfect way to keep your soil moist and in the best condition for your plants to grow. If you skip out on using mulch, your soil can become excessively dry.
The dry soil creates conditions for seedlings that are not necessarily ideal. Besides keeping the soil moist and in better shape, mulch protects plant roots and keeps unwanted weeds at a minimum. After all, you do not want weeds popping up and destroying the plants you are working hard to grow.
Forgetting to Use the Right Soil Amendment
A soil amendment is essential for several reasons. It helps to create better conditions for seedlings. If you want your seedlings to thrive and eventually turn into large plants, you need to provide the best soil possible. Of course, you need to base your amendment choice on the specific vegetables you are growing in your square foot garden.
Some of the different options that work well as soil amendments include:
Before you use a soil amendment, get more information on the type of soil you are using and which conditions are best for your plants. You want to use an amendment that will naturally improve the state of the soil, creating better growing conditions for all your vegetables.
Not Giving the Garden the Attention It Needs to Thrive
As with anything, you need to give your square foot garden some attention if you expect your vegetables and other plants to grow. Put forth the effort to dig the right amount of space and use the proper materials in the beginning, to avoid running into issues with your plants at a later time.
Please pay attention to your plants and monitor their growth over the days and weeks that will pass. Take any necessary measures to protect your plants from pests and unwanted weather conditions, such as hail storms and snowstorms. When you give the square foot garden enough attention, you can have plenty of success with it.
Square Foot Gardening Mistakes
If you would like to start a square foot garden on your land, there are some mistakes that you will likely want to avoid making. If you can avoid the mistakes when you first start working on the garden, you can prevent yourself from dealing with extra stress and issues with your plants. Instead, you can get your plants to thrive, providing you with plenty of vegetables to use to make meals throughout the year.
What are some square foot gardening mistakes you’ve made in the past?