My Square-Foot Garden Overfloweth

Veggies from my square-foot garden.

It started on a whim last March. Liz and Jim were out of town, and after reading a post at Frugal Dad, I decided to build my first square foot garden. Sam and I worked on our garden box all day on a Saturday. We assembled the box, filled it with organic soil, and waited for the weather to get warm enough to plant.

We waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally in the middle of May, the weather warmed up. I took the kids outside, and we planted lettuce, scallions, basil, carrots, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, and winter squash. In separate pots, I planted four different varieties of tomatoes and a cantaloupe plant.

Then we watered. And waited. And watered. And waited.

We were excited when we saw the first green shoots coming up out of the ground. Before long, we were using our lettuce for salads. A scallion or two grew big enough to harvest as well. But for the most part we waited.

Until yesterday. I went outside, because I had noticed some green beans that looked ready to pick. Some is an understatement. I kept finding more and more beans. In two one foot squares of my garden, I picked enough beans to fill a large bowl. There are at least three meals worth of beans for my family.

But I didn’t stop with the beans. Half of my scallions were ready, as were half of my carrots. And I picked the rest of my lettuce, as it’s getting too hot for lettuce to be outside.

I have a lot of tomatoes, but unfortunately the bugs keep getting to the good tomatoes before I do. I’m going to have to research organic bug killers or something. It makes me sick that the bugs are eating MY tomatoes!

If we weren’t moving, I’d plant something new in the empty squares that I harvested. But since we’re moving, I’m just hoping to harvest most of our veggies before we leave. I think everything will be ready except the winter squash. I’m going to try to take my garden box and dirt with me when we go, so I don’t have to buy new building supplies and soil for our new place.

Tonight I’m planning on eating some fresh green beans and a garden salad with dinner. Now I just need to think of a main course to go with it!


By , on Jul 23, 2008
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. Dawn:

    Wow! That is terrific! I have a great gardening area that I plan on using next spring.

  2. andar909:

    hi, andar here, i just read your post. i like very much. agree to you, sir.

  3. Dance like nobody’s watching
    Love like you’ve never been hurt
    …and garden like you won’t be moving!

    Why not throw a couple seeds in the ground…what a lovely “welcome home” gift to the new residents of your house!

  4. I’m impressed, excited for you, and so longing for a garden of my own one day!!!

    Enjoy your bounty! :)

  5. That is so cool!!! Maybe I will try one of these next year. What is the square footage again? I think you said befor, but I forgot…..

    And good luck with the final closing “stuff” with your house!! It is so fun to have your own place. :-)

  6. ispf:

    Wow! That’s impressive. Neither me, nor the husband has a green thumb, but I keep getting tempted to experiment when I read/watch success stories about kitchen gardens. Good luck with the tomatoes!

  7. Anna:

    I put basil next to the tomatoes to repeal bugs.

  8. Marci:

    Portability! Something that the square foot garden article did not talk about. Leave it to this frugal bunch to make them portable! Way to go!

  9. Lynnae, I am going to move mine too. I didn’t put a bottom in it so I am just going to move the frame and then put the dirt in a bag. I have lots of room at my new place for it. I harvested green beans and carrots galore last week.

  10. I really love this blog entry! So far, all we’ve gotten in 4 zukes, but the tomatoes are coming, as are the green beans, and the watermelon is flowering, and it’s just all so darned exciting!

  11. Elisa:

    That is fabulous. Congrats on your bountiful harvest!

  12. tiffanie:

    nice! i wish we had somewhere to plant, but we live in an apartment complex and don’t really have the option. one of the reasons i’m looking forward to having our own house!

  13. Marci:

    Central Fla – just about everything grows good there :) Enjoy! Your summer garden will have to watch out for drying out and heat. And you have the advantage of being able to grow most of the winter long, and some crops all winter long.

    Your root crops tho, will not be as sweet if they don’t get touched with frost/freeze in the winter.

  14. Jacqueline:

    Great post! I have been thinking about doing something like this myself for the past year or so, but had no idea how to start. I live in Central Florida – anyone know what grows well in my area?

  15. Marci:

    Congrats on taking that leap of faith and planting! What a good example for the kids.

    If you can start some winter veggie seeds in a portable box(es) you can transplant them at the new place for a winter garden. Or keep them in containers. ( I know you have a million other things to be thinking about right now tho!)

    All of the cabbage family winters over well, and a lot of the root crops still have time to be put in. I just planted parsnips, rutabaga, and turnips – for winter stews, and more pototoes. I think I have decided that there is no bigger bang for the buck than potatoes – one plant just produces so many long storing potatoes… altho the squash family does great at overproducing but it also takes up a lot of extra space, which the potatoes don’t.

    Nice bean harvest! They dehydrate well if you run out of freezer space :)

    And – may I suggest edible landscaping at the new place? All the fence lines/borders can be growing edibles for you – like blueberries, raspberries, asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, chives and herbs, and fruit trees! – have fun figuring it all out!

  16. Neat! And congrats! Beyond the saving it is a great lesson for kids to understand that food doesn’t come from a grocery store!

  17. SkyeBlue:

    Try some Diatomaceous Earth (a powder) on your tomatoes. You can get it at Farm type supply stores (and online also). It is all natural, non-poisonous and can be used for many different things and not real expensive. The bugs get it on them or eat it and it just dries them up. My BIL organic gardens and has used it for years. It can also be used in the home to get rid of roaches.

  18. I have had a wealth of abundance from our 4’x4′ square foot garden as well! Peas, cucumbers and tomatoes galore! I don’t have enough ways to prepare (but I am as novice to cooking as I am to gardening so that isn’t hard to do). And to think that I had so many people scoff at my square foot garden saying it would crowd and not produce enough veggies – well look whose scoffing now! ;)

  19. That’s a great harvest! Ours kind of fizzled. While we have enjoyed a few tomatoes and cucumbers, my squash and peas didn’t really take. One of the problems was the heat and drought we’ve been experiencing here in the Southeast. Next year I may invest in a timer and soaker hose for improved irrigation. Thanks for linking to my original “how-to” article.

  20. Congrats, Lynnae.

    And Sam deserves some of the credit, since he was an Asst. Engineer when you set up your garden.


  21. That’s great news! Let us know if you manage to figure out a way to move your garden (without it being too messy!).

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