Being Economical / Uncategorized

Making a Box Garden

My father is a huge fan of Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening book. He built a couple in his incredibly HUGE backyard last year and loved it. My yard is not incredibly huge – it’s the opposite. I’m not even sure it is a backyard because it’s sort of just off to the side of the house. Too small for the prior residents to even consider bothering with.

But our side yard has turned out to be a great place to grow a box garden. Square foot gardens are perfect because they can be made to fit any size. Our area is small, but with box gardens, you can maximize food growth in a small space. Making a box garden is easy, as long as you are somewhat handy. I’m not handy at all, but my husband is, so it worked out.

The Box

We got the big thick 10′ long wood planks from my father-in-law, so that made it cheap. We sawed one of those in half for the sides and then just bought a wood plank for the back. Then my husband screwed the the bracket screw thingies (not sure what they’re called) in to lock them together.

Box Filled

According to Mel the soil should be a mix of is 1/3 Peat Moss, 1/3 Compost and 1/3 Vermiculite. The Vermiculite is expensive; so is the Peat Moss when you’re buying as much cubit feet as I was. The only thing you can make on your own is compost and that’s cheap to buy anyway! I’m hoping the soil will last me a few years.


Then I went shopping! That was the fun part. I bought tomato plants, zucchini, peppers, thyme, basil, cucumbers, corn, lettuce, green beans, and chives. It was so exciting! I don’t have high hopes for my corn – I heard that’s hard to grow, but I couldn’t resist. And I probably should have read which plants should be grouped together based on water and sun needs, but I’m more of a DO then THINK kind of person. I just got really excited to plant.


I used old blinds for my name tags. They were stashed in the basement so I just cut up a bunch and wrote on them with a Sharpie. I’m so obsessed with my new garden. I just keep going outside to stare at it. And last night I used chives from my garden in my smashed potato bar! Other than that, I’m not sure what to do with chives.

What are some good recipes that call for chives?


7 thoughts on “Making a Box Garden

  1. Your square foot (rectangle) garden is soo cool! I picked some lettuce today from mine. Isn’t it fun?

  2. Your garden looks awesome. If you read my blog today you already know that my garden is crap. I think, like you, we need to start with small plants, not seeds. Less room for failure that way!!

    You can do a lot with chives… but they don’t have a whole ton of flavor. They are just a pretty garnish.

  3. You must have telepathy. We really needed these instructions. My husband cleared out some bushes in our backyard and planted little seedlings, to no avail. I’m thinking this box garden thing might do the trick.

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  5. Can I just say how much this garden impresses me? Wow. I’m moving this week, and my yard would has a perfect spot for a garden like this. Hmm.

    Chives? I LOVE them in baked potatoes with sour cream.

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