When all was said and done, I believe I invested roughly $120 in this little experiment. That includes building supplies, plants, dirt and gardening tools.
Once I built the square foot garden and planted all the seedlings, it was incredibly low maintenance. I only watered it during the height of our heat wave and didn't need to weed or fertilize (although I might have gotten better yields with some worm tea). Despite living near a nature preserve, the animals left this alone all summer. A few weeks ago, I pulled all the planted, removed the dividers and tilled the dirt so it's ready to go for next year. Time wise, I believe it took me about two hours to build it, two hours to plant and fill it and then another half an hour to remove it at the end of the season.
|For size comparison|
|Baby garden, back in May|
Next year, I intend to do the following things differently:
- Plant the zucchini and squash outside of the garden grid to make them easier to manage.
- Plant more tomatoes in different varieties.
- Use tomato cages, for goodness sake. By the time I realized I needed these, it was too late.
- Stagger the planting of the lettuce. I had an explosion of lettuce one week. I love a good salad, but I don't really want a salad at every meal to avoid wasting the produce.
- Omit the soda bottle irrigation system. I didn't need to water all that often and it turned out to be an eyesore and a waste of space.
- Plant jalapenos only and plant them near the tomatoes. Green peppers just don't work with my soil or climate. Or maybe it's just me.
- Spread out the tomato plants throughout the planter rather than just in the row closest to the house. Otherwise it gets a little wild back there.