Design Rules for a Square Foot Garden – Part 1

A Square Foot Garden is the simplest garden to build, easy to plant, the most productive, and the simplest to maintain.

First, we must define what it is we are talking about here.A SquareFootGarden is a raised bed gardening system with a specific soil mix and with markings to

Square Foot Garden Winter How To

You can have this Square Foot Garden

The rules of design of a Square Foot Garden:

  1. The beds cannot be any wider than four feet. Any more than this and it will not be within the comfortable reach of the human arm. If you can’t reach the soil you garden, you can’t take care of it.
  2. I recommend that you don’t make the beds any longer than sixteen feet or any shorter than four feet. A four foot by four foot bed is a great place to start, you can reach around all sides of the bed, and is the least expensive.  Exception: Apartment balconies should have smaller, lighter beds.
  3. The bed needs to have at least twelve inches of soil at an absolute minimum. I recommend at least 18 inches of soil to succeed. I differ with other authors on this point. I recommend more soil because I am writing this to encourage you to succeed. The less soil you have, the lower your odds of success. Same exception for apartment balconies.
  4. Make the dimensions of the bed in even one foot increments. The plants do not know how you mark the bed, you do. This is to simplify the garden for you.
  5. The sides of your raised bed must be strong enough to keep the soil from deforming the bed.

More to come on design of a square foot garden.

Interested in learning more? Sign up for our email tips at


2 Responses to “Design Rules for a Square Foot Garden – Part 1”

  1. Chuene Says:

    I am attempting a garedn for the first time, and am unsure of the best spot to plan it. Our house block much of the sun in our yard, so the best spot is at the bottom of a small slope where the water runoff passes, leaving the ground almost always saturated and soft. I planned on building a bit of a raised bed. Is this a good spot to plan my garedn or not? I watched a few videos online and one said it would be a good spot, but I wanted to be sure.Thanks in advance!

  2. Green Thumb Says:

    Great question. The spot where you want ot put your garden needs to be in a sunny place that gets 6-8 hours a day of full sun. If the bottom of the slope where you want to put it gets sun, it would be a good candidate. Regarding water run-off, a friend just told me a story about his garden that got washed away in a run-off creek. Make sure your garden is not in the area of high flow and build it as a raised bed.

Leave a Reply