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Starting the Square foot garden


Following on from a couple of years of having a 2ft by 4ft patch, my wife finally relented, and I now have two 4 × 6 raised beds. Admittedly in the shadiest part of the garden!

The approach:
I bought the Square foot gardening book and have bought into the idea.

The beds:
I like to play with my hands, so I went to Wicks and bought some 6ft and 8ft gravel boards, to make the raised beds. They did the job nicely. Getting them into a hatchback should have been accompanied by some Benny hill music though! My advice, take a saw if you know you have to cut them!

The soil:
You’re supposed to use 1/3 Vermiculite, 1/3 Compost and 1/3 peat moss.
Vermiculite was a little harder to come by and I cleared out both B&Q and Wilkinson’s! I couldn’t find any peat moss, so I just got loads of multi purpose compost! There are lots of pictures of plans on the packets so it mus be OK ;)

The plants:
Beetroot, radish, carrot, spring onion, chard, little gem lettuce, mixed leaf lettuce, mustard, peas and spinach.
I’m also planning squash, courgette, corn, chilli and tomatoes

The enemy:
Harry and Larry. My lovely kittens, who have impressive agility and curiosity. So far all attempts at keeping them off the fantastic new litter boxes have failed! The latest round of full cover netting provided a challenge for 2 days, then they realised that could just jump off the fence onto the top of the nets, which have enough spring to reach all the way down to the “litter box”.

More blog posts by madcow_uk

Next post: Cats protection League (protection from cats that is)



Very good blog, I have to say my hubby has taken his saw to the shop many a time after years of travelling as you say in Benny Hill style, lol.
Pleased your ladywife relented, she`ll be very appreciative when you are providing the fresh goodies for the table hope they all do well for you, the beds look very neat.
The kittens are a diiferent tale and I know from experience that if they are determined enough they`ll find a way into the beds no matter what you do unless you actually make a mesh cover, its all good fun to them...

30 Apr, 2012


If you have an Inexcess anywhere near you, its the only place i found the peat moss.
I also have 2 lovely 'darlings' who think I've built them personal dirt boxes complete with soft perfect soil...

This year i am trying some plastic mesh with 2" holes which i am burying just below the surface of the soil. Plan is that it will help me with spacings, the plants can grow right through it and hopefully stop the digging.
I had moderate success last year with the square foot method and hoping this year will be even better, so good luck and dont worry about the shade one of my boxes is almost permanently shaded I am using it for the longer winter growing plants this year.

30 Apr, 2012


Wish you every success with the raised beds its amazing how much you can produce from a small space and you never know in another year you might manage to increase the growing area a little for the kittens I've
never found a remedy for their antics . Happy planting :))

30 Apr, 2012


Glad to hear of your success, even if it doesn't extend to the kittens :) My mixed leaf is doing very well, plenty to feed the tortoises each day and they can't help themselves and eat the lot in one go! Beetroot has been attacked, I think by sparrows but a few are still OK. I will replant asap. I am encouraged :)

28 Jun, 2012

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