SFG: Step 1

Now that we have our BMP (backyard master plan) complete, I’m finally ok with moving ahead full steam with our Square Foot Garden.  With the location/placement settled, the next step was to build the garden bed.

We decided to start with one very simple 4×4 garden, which may seem small.  But remember the whole idea of SFG-ing is to grow more in less space.  And remember that we don’t know what the hell we are doing.  So I figure we can start out small to (1) make sure we even like gardening (2) verify we can successfully grow something and (3) see what kind of yield we get from that size of garden.  The BMP has room for garden expansion, so if we like it, can grow stuff and realize we need more space….we’ll just add another 4×4 or 4×6 next year.    Once again, I make perfect sense.

So here’s how the construction went down.  We purchased (4) 4 ft 2×6’s at Home Depot.  We decided to go with redwood because it was one of the cheaper options.  Mel (the SFG author) didn’t seem to have a problem with that, in fact I do recall reading something to the effect of “the best wood is free wood.”  Meaning he wanted us to stop by construction sites and ask for scraps.  Um….I don’t really do that sort of thing.  So I’m sure he would approve of our redwood selection.

Next, pre-drill three holes  at the top of each connecting piece, like so:

We used leftover wood screws from our fence to join the pieces together.

We also purchased six pieces of lath at Home Depot to form the patented SFG grid on top (ok, I don’t know if it’s patented, but Mel says it’s not a true SFG without them.  So who are we to ignore them?)

They were easily screwed into the border pieces with more wood screws, and connected together (at the crosshairs) with nuts and bolts.

Wow.  Does anyone else notice that building things evokes a lot of good “That’s what she said” opportunities?!  I’m really holding back here.

Notice also that we messed up and forget to put our freaking SOIL in before securing the grid on top.  Surprised?  Seriously.  I always mess something up.  Have you figured this out by now?

So….obviously our next step is to mix our soil (Mel has his own very special “mix” we are supposed to make).   Supposedly this mix is so special that we’ll never have to weed anything.  Sign me up.  One batch of Mel’s Mix coming up!   Stay tuned for another post on getting the garden in the right spot on the lawn, as well as mixing that special weed-free mix.

In the meantime, feel free to give me some TWSS shout outs.  I know some of you will have a hard time leaving  me hanging with this primo material.

Update:  You can see Step 2 here, and a post about growing potatoes here



  1. May I just point out that your construction worker verbage is very good, hence all the ‘that’s what she said’ opportunities. You’ve got a top notch job site going on! ha ha

    ps. If the lath is attached with screws, just un-screw the perimeter, lift off, add soil, and reattach. but I’m sure you thought of that!

    1. Why thank you! I’m proud of my work-site banter.

      And actually….I did think about unscrewing the top, but thought it might be too much work. That’s pure lazyness right there.

  2. Well I sure hope this Mel character is right or you are going to be disapointed! Looking forward to see your SFG this summer.:)

  3. I love that you not only show your mistakes, you point them out in case anyone didn’t notice in the pictures. It makes me feel like I could try a few of these projects. If only Brett would let me use the drill…

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