Practicalities of square foot gardening

Asked April 9, 2019, 7:36 PM EDT

I know what square foot gardening is, but as a practical matter, how do you plant, maintain, and pick produce from a square foot that is in the "middle" of a raised bed without disturbing the rest of the bed? In my case, I have 4' x 8' beds and a 20' x 4' bed that is only accessible from one of the 20' sides.

Multnomah County Oregon vegetable gardening

3 Responses

Thank you for your interesting question. Although I have read the book, and believe I understand the theory of planned, limited, intensive gardening, it does not work for every space—especially if the garden has already been constructed. There is very little research on the topic, and none I can find on how to adapt existing spaces. So, until you revamp your space, you’ll be required to bend over to plant, weed and harvest your garden. You can still use some of the planning concepts, but the back-saving benefits will not be there. Good luck!

Thank you. But the question isn't about whether there is a "back-saving" way to do this, it is about how it is possible at all without trampling the rest of the bed to get to the middle. I know this is done, but no one seems to talk the details. If I am asking "master gardeners", SOMEBODY knows the answer...this technique is talked about too much for this problem not to have been addressed. Either this is limited to 3'x3' beds, or there is a way to do this. Can you pass this question on to other experienced gardeners...or to OSU Extension staff themselves, please?

We have explored other staff. What I tried to explain to you is that this is not a scientifically researched methodology worthy of university research—which is what professors study and are paid for. Not every book that a gardener publishes interests a university in conducting expensive experimentation. This is precisely why these questions are answered by experienced, trained Master Gardeners such as myself. You are welcome to search for a professor interested in the topic. I have found none who has published an article in overcoming geometry and physics.