We filled the beds with equal parts (by volume) of compost (I used composted horse manure, and purchased mushroom and cow manure compost. The book (Square Foot Gardening) suggests 5 different kinds. I could only find 3 so we’ll see what happens), peat, and vermiculite.








You mix the compost first. Left to right, cow, mushroom. horse. I did this in a tarp as recommended.








By lifting one side of the tarp I could tumble the compost together to make a nice homogenized mix. I worked my way around the tarp multiple times to get a nice mix.








Add an equal volume of peat, and repeat the tumbling.







Repeat the process with the vermiculite.







Use the tarp to get it to the bed, dump it in and rake smooth.  Repeat for all beds. The smaller beds took 8 cubic feet of mix each, the larger took 14 cubic feet. Calculations are in the book. If you want to know, just ask.

Through the magic of the Internet, POOF! All done filling the beds! In actuality, working by myself, it took about an hour and a half.  I won’t need to do it again, so that is nice.






At this point I have nice fluffy raised beds, but the point is to follow the SFG method. So out comes the trusty tape measure.








I measured and marked the frames, used some slat material and nailed them every foot.








The final step is to add the long pieces. The book suggests drilling a hole at the intersections and attaching with a nut & bolt. I decided to weave the long pieces in and out and let the tension hold it in place. Again, we’ll see how that works out for me.









Repeat with the rest of the beds.








You can see why it is called square foot. About a month out from putting in most of the garden.

Still to do, add upright supports to the right of the long beds, I’ll grow tomatoes, cucumbers and squash there,  I’m also going to mulch the entire back area that was the lawn, one less thing to cut.

Of course the perennial beds are in dire need of attention, which they will receive in turn.

Until next time, Keep Digging & Eat Well!

In later years I have forgone the wooden slats for sturdy masons string. It clearly marks the areas, yet does not interfere with the growing space.

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