Saturday, May 29, 2010

Frugal Square Foot Gardening

Frugal: entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager

Yep, that pretty much describes my first Square Foot Garden.  Here is a run down of the expenses that I put into it:

1. FREE wood from one of the brothers at our church. He got it from his work, since they were just going to throw it all away.

2. FREE soil composed of hay, cow manure, and whatever else was lying around.  It was all super composted when we pick up a load, so no, there was no smell. We got it from an elderly lady that still lives on her farm.  If you live by farm land, you could probably ask some of the farmers if you could get some dirt that was dug up for a pond or whater they would have lying around like it.

3. Bundle of wooden stakes-$8.99

4. 5 yards of fabric netting(in the fabric section, not the garden section) from Walmart- $5.99

5. 8 Tomato plants-$12.00

6. 8 Pepper plants-$8.00

7. Seeds for lettuce, spinach, beans-$8.00

8. 3Squash and 3 Zucchini-$6.50

9. FREE nails

10. FREE rope

11. FREE kite string

12. 1 1/2 bags of good top soil-$4.50


I think the box is about 8'x 5'or so, yeah, we were not real accurate, but it still worked just fine.  I'm not sure what kind or size of wood was used, but when I find out, I will include that.  Here is how I planted everything....

First, we loaded all the compost into the box and spread it all even, then we watered it really good.  I really think that whatever kind of compost you can get for the cheapest price will work just fine also.  This happened to be free, but the SFG that I had made earlier this spring was a whoppin $50.00 just for the compost that you are told to buy in the book, and it was only 4'x4'.  So I was determined to find it MUCH cheaper, and I think free stuff is pretty cheap, don't you?

Next I got some a tape measure and some nails.  I measured everything off by foot and screwed in a nail at every foot.  After that, I got my kite string and wound it around all the "pegs" to make the grid. 

Now that everything was measured properly, I started my planting.  I put my pole beans, sugar snap peas  along this edge so that they could climb up the trellis:

I also planted 3 yellow squash in the far right corner, and 3 zucchini plants in the far left corner along this same edge .  Since the squash will climb up the trellis, I didn't need to worry about putting something in the square next to it, but that isn't the case with the zucchini.  I left one square beside, diagonal and in front of the zucchini empty.  That is also why I planted it in one of the end squares, so that it can grow over the side of the box and not disturb anything.

Next I planted my pepper plants in the same squares as the vining beans, since they would be up the trellis and out of the way of the peppers.  The first pepper plant was planted 2 squares away from the zucchini and then I planted a tomato plant in the middle square of this row.  I finished the row with pepper plants to even it out.

I then planted the next two rows with pepper plant in one square, then tomato plant in the next square, rotating until the end of the rows.

Finally in the last 1 1/2 rows, I planted lettuce and spinach.

All of my plants besides the beans and lettuce ,which I started from seed, were Bonnie brand and I got the plants that just plant right into the ground, pot and all.  Yesterday, I put stakes next to all the tomato plants and tied them to the stake with some soft rope, not twine or coarse rope as this would cut into the stems.  Today, my hubby used some of the stakes and made the shade cloth frame.  Then we nailed the cloth to the angled points. 

And there you have it.  I just water once a day, in the morning, as this "soil" really holds water well.  I'll keep an update on how it is growing and what we harvest out of it.  Next year, we may do a Frugal Green House like this one-PVC Greenhouse

Are any of you doing any frugal-type gardening?  Please leave a comment, as I'd love to hear about it!


  1. my wife and i really like your frugalblog,it has been helpful, my wife started sewing some diapers she saw on your blog and others thanks...

  2. Hello, wow thanks for your comment! That's exciting! It blesses me to be able to share some things that I am learning as I make the keeper at home journey. I wasn't raised knowing these things, so alot of the time, I just kinda figure it out all on a whim. Let me know how the diapers hold up.

    In Christ,

  3. I hope your garden does very well for you.

  4. Thank you for your comment, I have been checking it daily and it looks like it is growing very well without much help! I just hope I can ward off the bugs and rabbits without pesticides.