I have always gardened in containers. Always. I've mostly just used plastic pots from big box stores but over the past year I expanded to earth boxes. Since we finally moved into our dream home, I wanted a more permanent garden.
But, of course I didn't want just and old plot of dirt- I wanted to build and plant in raised beds.. Specifically square foot garden beds. I chose this method for two basic reasons. To start with, our soil here in zone 9 is basically sand. I'm not kidding when I say this- if you dig down 1 foot, you unearth what looks like wet beach sand (note what's around the fence posts? That sand was not brought in!) Not good for a garden. The second, and more pertinent reason was because I'm a numbers girl and with square foot gardening (SFG) I can get more bang for the buck.
SFG basically means you break up the raised beds into one square foot sections and plant in a grid system instead of rows. The benefit is that the soil never gets stepped on, and as a result, you can grow things much closer together (aka the bio intensive method). I'd never done this type of gardening... Until today :)
My sweet husband was kind enough to build a fence around the area we determined was best for the garden.. Ill go into details in another post, but basically we have a 50x60 area to do whatever we want to. He built me two awesome raised bed boxes out of lumber (not pressure treated)- then I stapled a combo of weed wacker line and garden tape to make the grid system. Today, I officially became a square foot gardener, after spending many hours transplanting and seeding the grid. It looks pretty good, I think :) I wish we could have afforded the drip irrigation before the plants went in, but we gotta start somewhere, so I decided to go ahead and start planting! I love the result.. There are still a few empty squares so I will have to decide on what they'll be filled with. Regardless, here's the final product, I'm quite proud :)
Happy gardening :)