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Row Gardening vs. Square Foot Gardening

I had dreams of idyllic rows of vegetables, perfectly straight, weed free, and something I would be able to post to social media pages to get those likes, hearts, and whatever other positive responses are out there these days. Two full seasons later, I realized that having a 1/4 acre row garden wasn't sustainable, at least for me. As much as I love gardening and growing my own food, I didn't have enough sunlight in the day to maintain it to my standards (we'll talk about that in another post).

This past fall, I decided to switch tactics and convert to raised beds. After pricing out lumber, I realized cedar was out of my budget. Pressure treated was definitely a no-go for me, and standard lumber would rot in 3-5 years and having to rebuild over and over was not in the cards for me. After countless hours of research, I found what I think are the most cost effective raised beds that meet my requirements:

I opted to get 6 of these, and assembly took a few hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon. After setting them and filling with soil, I am confident these will last longer than me!

Raised beds and square foot gardening are popular and efficient gardening methods that allow you to grow a large variety of plants in a small area. These techniques are suitable for all types of gardeners, from beginners to experienced, and can be applied in any climate or soil type.

Raised Beds

Raised beds are elevated garden beds that are filled with soil, compost, and other organic matter. They are often constructed from wood, stone, or other materials and can be built to any size or shape. The main advantage of raised beds is that they allow you to control the quality of the soil in which you grow your plants. The soil in raised beds warms up faster in the spring, making it easier to start planting earlier in the season. Additionally, raised beds allow for better drainage, which can prevent plants from becoming waterlogged.

Square Foot Gardening

Square foot gardening is a gardening method in which plants are grown in a square or rectangular bed, divided into smaller squares, each of which is used to grow a different type of plant. The idea behind square foot gardening is to make the most of the space available in your garden by growing multiple plants in a small area. The method is based on the concept of intercropping, which involves planting different crops in the same area to maximize space and minimize waste.

Benefits of Raised Beds and Square Foot Gardening

The benefits of raised beds and square foot gardening are numerous. These methods allow you to:

  1. Grow a large variety of plants in a small area.

  2. Improve soil quality and increase drainage.

  3. Start planting earlier in the season.

  4. Minimize the use of pesticides and herbicides.

  5. Reduce the amount of weeding and maintenance required.

  6. Save money by using less water and fertilizer.


Raised beds and square foot gardening are great ways to maximize the space in your garden and grow a large variety of plants in a small area. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced gardener, these methods are simple to implement and offer many benefits. So why not give them a try and see the results for yourself!

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