Garden Size Location and Layout

One of the advantages of square foot gardening is that it can be practiced profitably on relatively small spaces. A square foot garden takes only 20 percent of the space of a conventional garden. Even the quarter-acre lot of suburban homes is usually adequate.

That lot, about 11,000 square feet, is usually divided so that the house and garage take about 3,000 square feet, the driveway another 1,000, and the front and side yards 3,000. This leaves about 4,000 for the backyard. If you converted half of that (2,000 square feet) into a cash garden, you'll have room for almost 1,400 square feet of growing area while the remaining 600 square feet are in paths and non-productive areas. At an average yield of $5 per square foot, your cash garden could produce $7,000 a year for you.

Thus, the question you must answer is not about the space you have and need, but how much money you want to make, how much time you want to spend, and whether you can find a good market for your cash garden.

If your financial needs are modest, only part of your backyard may be needed for gardening; if you're very ambitious, you may want to use the entire backyard, even if you have more than 4,000 square feet, or you may even want to arrange for additional land.

The basic square foot system utilizes a four-foot square with a walking aisle on all four sides. Since the object of a cash garden is to have as much growing area as possible, you could give up a little convenience and arrange those squares end on end to form a long garden that's four feet wide. You'll have to walk around a long bed, but it will avoid a lot of non-productive space.

In this 50 X 80-foot backyard, these four beds will occupy 288 square feet, with 192 square feet used for growing. That's enough to produce an income of $960.

In the same backyard, these beds will take up 750 square feet, with 506 square feet used for growing. At $5 per square feet, this garden will yield $2,530.

House

A $5,000 Garden

This garden will yield $5,320. The garden area is 1,500 square feet, of which 1,064 square feet is for growing areas.

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