Square Foot Gardening Herbs [Best Tips to Grow]

If you’re limited on space, don’t worry – you can still grow a variety of herbs in a small garden. An empty spot in the sun and a few basic gardening supplies are all you need to get started.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about square-foot gardening herbs:

What Is Square-Foot Gardening?

Mel Bartholomew popularized the method in his book Square Foot Gardening. Bartholomew continued to refine and share his knowledge through subsequent books, articles, and public speaking engagements.

Today, gardeners all over the world practice square-foot gardening. Square foot gardening is a type of gardening in which you grow plants in individual square sections that you separate by paths.

It allows you to maximize the space in your garden and prevent overcrowding of plants.

Square foot gardening also makes it easier to control weeds and pests.

Because each plant is in a separate square, it’s easier to fertilize and water them. No more overwatering one plant and underwatering another!

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How Does Square Foot Gardening Work?

You divide each plot into smaller squares. Each plant takes up one square. 

You can more easily rotate your crops so that different plants are in new squares each year. It helps to prevent disease and pests from becoming a problem.

A square-foot garden is typically 1 foot by 1 foot, but the size can vary depending on your needs. For example, a 2-foot by 2-foot bed is still a square-foot style garden.

The average square foot garden bed is between 3 and 4 feet wide. Each bed is typically 6 inches deep, but you may need to go deeper for some herbs.

What Are the Best Plants for a Square-Foot Garden?

The best plants for a square-foot garden vary depending on the climate in your state. Some common square-foot garden plants besides herbs include tomatoes, peppers, squash, and lettuce.

When Should I Plant My Square-Foot Garden?

The best time to plant a square-foot garden varies depending on the climate, but in general, it is best to plant in the spring after the last frost date.

In the United States, that is typically sometime in March. You can check for your state here.

What Are the Most Common Square-Foot Garden Pests?

The most common square-foot garden pests include aphids, caterpillars, slugs, and snails. You can deal with these pests using organic sprays or pesticides.

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What Are the Benefits of Square Foot Gardening?

A square-foot garden is a great way to grow your food in a small space. With planning and care, you can have a thriving garden that produces fresh fruits and vegetables for your family to enjoy.

This kind of gardening allows you to maximize the space in your garden and prevent overcrowding of plants.

Some of the pros of square-foot gardening include:

  • You can do it in a small space – even on a balcony or patio
  • The soil is well-drained and loose, which is ideal for growing most plants
  • To maintain the health of your plants, you need to be able to control the amount of water and fertilizer they receive – the square-foot method allows this.

Some of the cons of square-foot gardening include:

  • The initial setup can be time-consuming and expensive if you need to build raised beds or purchase soil mix
  • You will need to water more often than if you have in-ground plants, as the soil mix tends to dry out quickly
  • You may need to replant your square-foot garden more often than an in-ground garden, as the plants will not last as long
  • Pests can be more difficult to control in a square foot garden, as they can easily access all of the plants.

How Is Square Foot Gardening Different Than Normal Gardening?

This approach allows the gardener to easily control how much space to give each plant. Second, because the space is smaller, square-foot gardening requires less water and fewer resources.

Finally, this gardening method is often seen as more efficient because it allows you to space your plants closer together. It reduces the amount of time needed to care for them.

Have a look: Square Foot Gardening Fertilizer [All about to know]

Are Square Foot Gardens in Raised Beds?

Not all square-foot gardens are in raised beds, but many are. It can be helpful for several reasons.

It can make the garden easier to manage and keep tidy. Raised beds often allow for better drainage, which helps in areas that experience a lot of rain.

What Are Easy Square Foot Gardening Herbs to Grow?

Herbs are one of the most versatile and easy-to-grow plants in a small garden. You can use them for cooking, decoration, or medicinal properties.

Some easy herbs to grow are parsley, rosemary, and thyme. These herbs don’t require a lot of care.

Just make sure to water them regularly and give them some sunlight. You can also easily grow mint, basil, oregano, and cilantro.

If you’re looking for herbs that are a little more difficult to grow, try chives, dill, or sage. These herbs can be tricky to start, but once they get going, they’re easy to maintain.

Just make sure you have patience and don’t give up on them. With a little bit of care, you can grow just about any herb successfully.

The best way to determine what grows well in your area is to check your hardiness zone. Herbs like Rosemary and Sage grow well in California.

Whereas in Vermont, Mint and Thyme will surely thrive.

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Why Grow Your Own Herbs?

There are many reasons to grow your herbs. For one, it is more economical than buying them at the store.

Additionally, you can be sure of their freshness and quality when you grow them yourself. Finally, growing your herbs allows you to have a wider variety of herbs available than at the grocery store.

You’ll find there are many reasons you’ll want to plant square-foot gardening herbs instead of traditional methods:

  • The square-foot garden herbs are easy to set up and maintain
  • They can be in any sunny spot in your yard
  • They are perfect for small yards or balconies
  • They use less water than traditional gardens
  • They require less weeding and maintenance overall.

Planning Your Herb Garden

When planning which herbs to grow in your garden, consider the amount of sun and shade that each area receives. Herbs need at least six hours of sunlight per day, so choose a spot in your yard that gets plenty of sunshine.

If you have a shady area in your garden, there are still some herbs that will do well there, such as mint, lemon balm, and parsley.

Another factor to consider when deciding which herbs to grow is whether or not you want to use them for cooking. If you plan on using your herbs for culinary purposes, make sure to choose varieties for their flavor.

Some examples of flavorful herbs include basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.

Once you’ve decided which herbs you’d like to grow in your garden, it’s time to start planning out where they will go. A good rule of thumb is to plant taller herbs in the back of the garden and shorter ones in the front.

This will help ensure that all of your plants get the sunlight they need.

When it comes to watering your herbs, be sure to water them deeply but not too frequently. Herbs like to have their roots in moist soil, so water them about once a week or every other week.

If you live in an area with high humidity, you may need to water your herbs more often.

When it comes to harvesting your herbs, it’s best to do so in the morning after the dew has evaporated. This will help ensure that your herbs are at their peak flavor.

To harvest your herbs, simply cut them off at the stem using a sharp knife.

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Garden Planning Software

If you have a larger garden area, you may want to use garden planning software or create an excel spreadsheet to track your squares.

Garden planning software is a type of program that helps you plan and design your garden. You can use it to map out your garden, choose plants, and track maintenance tasks.

Garden planning software often includes features such as plant databases, gardening tips, and lawn care advice. Some programs also allow you to share your garden plans with others online.

Is It Better to Grow Herbs From Seeds or Starts?

There are pros and cons to growing herbs from either seeds or starts. One advantage of growing herbs from seeds is that it is generally less expensive than purchasing starts.

Another advantage is that you often have a greater selection of varieties to choose from when growing from seed. However, germinating seeds can be more challenging than simply planting a start.

It often takes longer for seedlings to mature than plants that you started from transplants.

Consider what is most important to you in terms of cost, variety, and ease of growth. Ultimately, the best way to grow herbs is whichever method works best for you and your gardening goals.

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Growing Herbs With the Square Foot Method

Start by preparing your soil. Mix in some compost or other organic matter to help improve drainage and provide nutrients for your plants.

Next, you’ll need to determine how much space you have available for your garden. Once you know that, you can decide on the size of your raised bed (or beds).

Now it’s time to start planting! Square foot gardening is about maximizing space, so be sure to plant densely.

You can plant different types of plants on each square foot, or you can plant one type of plant on multiple square feet.

Tips for Growing Square Foot Garden Herbs

Choose the right location. A garden needs at least six hours of sunlight each day to thrive.

If you don’t have a lot of space, consider growing herbs in containers on a sunny deck or patio.

Prepare the soil. Herbs prefer well-drained soil, so amend your garden bed with compost or other organic matter if necessary.

Most square-foot gardens use Mel’s Mix soil. It is a special type of potting mix that Mel Bartholomew designed.

It is equal parts peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. This mix provides good drainage and aeration while holding moisture and nutrients well.

It is a great choice for container gardening or raised bed gardening. Nowadays, as peat isn’t as available, there are other soil-building options you can try instead.

Select your plants. Some of the best herbs for small gardens include basil, chives, mint, oregano, rosemary, and thyme.

Check the plant labels to see how big they will grow at maturity and choose accordingly.

Plant and water regularly. If the soil feels dry to your touch, you should water your herbs.

Be careful not to overwater the plants because this can lead to root rot, which is a very serious problem. Fertilize your plants every few weeks with a diluted liquid fertilizer to encourage growth.

Harvest often. The more you clip your herbs, the bushier they will become.

Use fresh herbs in cooking or drying them for later use.

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What to Do Once You Harvest Your Herbs

Once you’ve successfully grown square-foot garden herbs, you can harvest them regularly. And you can preserve them for later. Here are a few tips:

  • To dry your herbs, tie them in small bundles and hang them upside down in a cool, dark place
  • As soon as the herbs have dried, store them in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out again
  • You can also freeze your herbs by chopping them and placing them in a freezer-safe container.
Square Foot Gardening Herbs
Square Foot Gardening Herbs

Home-Grown Herbs Made Simple With Square Foot Gardening

If you’re looking for a way to get into gardening, square-foot gardening is a great option that doesn’t require a lot of space or maintenance.

With just a small area, you can grow all the delicious herbs your heart desires, and it’s easy to do!

Have you tried square-foot gardening before? Let us know in the comments how it went for you.

We would love to hear from our readers about their experiences with this fun (and tasty) gardening method.

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