There’s a reason that square foot gardening gained popularity so fast- it works and it is a highly effective form of gardening. Remember that since you are required to raise the bed for square foot gardening, you will also enjoy some of the benefits of raised-bed gardening. You get to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Listed below are some of the various advantages of square foot gardening:
- You will be using a significantly smaller amount of soil to grow whatever you wish to grow in your garden.
- You can grow a large number of the kind of plants, crops and flowers you like in a smaller area. You could grow carrots, peas, and beans in just one square of your garden.
- No seed would go to waste.
- Placement of plants is made easier.
- You get to determine how to ‘customize’ each square foot of the garden for optimum results.
- You can experiment with garden designs. For example, you could grow flowers in one area and vegetables in another.
- Square foot gardening makes it easier for the gardener to manage his garden as he divides his garden into different ‘segments’ when growing different types of plants.
- This is one of the easiest methods of gardening regardless of how new you may be to gardening.
- You get to determine what plants, crops, and flowers you would like to grow and the quantity you would like to grow.
- You will find that water drains a lot faster. This is actually an advantage of raising the beds.
- Weeds and grass won’t be a problem
- It would be easier for you to harvest crops once they have grown fully.
- Soil erosion won’t be an issue because frames hold the soil in.
- You may raise the bed and grow your plants anywhere you wish to do so.
- The soil in such beds tends to warm up faster and sooner and so your plants would grow a lot faster than they would have if you had employed traditional methods of gardening.
- Since you will be growing several types of plants so close together in the raised bed, their leaves will protect the soil from evaporation and overheating.
- You won’t have to worry about anyone or anything falling onto the soil because the beds are raised.
- You get to determine how big you want your garden to be and how to use it. This will give you more control over the garden and you can use it to your advantage.
- If you find that your soil is lacking in certain nutrients, adding these in the form of additives would enrich the soil.
- You can grow a variety of plants.
- You can stock up on different types of vegetables and fruits and store these so that you can use them later on.
- Since you are using the square foot garden to grow several types of soil you get to save some space and you can use soil elsewhere in your ordinary garden for other purposes instead.
- You can choose to grow certain plants in large amounts and then sell these to people in need of them. Since square foot gardening gives a larger yield in a shorter time span this would be a great way for you to make some money too.
- You can simply extend the bed if you wish to grow other types of plants on the same soil.
While square foot gardening does have its advantages, there are certain disadvantages to this form of gardening as well. Some gardeners aren’t fond of this form of gardening because of these drawbacks.
Here are some of the drawbacks of square foot gardening:
- Setting up a square foot garden can be expensive. Not only do you have to pay for the bed, but you also have to buy certain types of material that would allow you to make use of each ‘segment’ of soil so that these can be used properly to grow the plants that you would like to grow.
- You have to water your soil and plants a lot more. Since you are growing different types of plants on the same soil, every one of these grown on each square foot utilizes a certain amount of water. This means that all the plants, combined, tend to use quite a lot of water. If you don’t water your plants even for a day or so, this could be a big problem for your plants.
- Plants need nitrogen to grow and since you might be growing different types of plants per square foot on the same soil, you need to ensure that there is plenty of nitrogen available to your plants. This could harm all of your plants.
- Soil mixes can be very expensive. Also, taking care of your plants may prove to be challenging and costly too.
- While growing the plants so close together would protect your soil from evaporation, it could cause mildew and certain types of diseases.
- All your plants could get affected by various diseases and infections and considering the fact that you would be growing so many plants in one area, this could become a problem.
- Since you are growing several types of plants in one area, you could attract a variety of pests and insects that would harm your plants.
- Growing too many plants together can result in overcrowding and this could make it difficult for you to manage your plants and soil.
- The compost can dry up very fast and replacing this can be an issue since you are growing various types of plants in one area.
- If you happen to be living in an area where the summers or the winters tend to be dry, salt buildup might be an issue. Ironically, providing your plants and soil with more water in such conditions may destroy your soil even faster.
- Some plants simply can’t be grown in square foot gardens.
Square foot gardening has its disadvantages that vary from region to region as well. What matters is how you take care of your soil and plants. With proper care insects and pests won’t be an issue. The advantages of square foot gardening will certainly outweigh the disadvantages.