Importance of Drilling Holes in Your Raised Square Foot Garden
A square foot garden is an ideal way to grow varied crops in a small space. By elevating the garden you will also make the work of gardening much easier. A square foot garden raised to hip height, for example, will mean that you can do all the gardening work standing up.
General Health of the Garden
A square foot garden is an intensively farmed area and the concentration of different plants in a small space can create an ideal breeding ground for disease and molds. Plants grown in a foot square garden tend to be much healthier than plants grown in a normal garden because of the high quality of the soil in which they are grown. Healthy plants can resist disease and fungal attacks and are generally less susceptible. To remain healthy, the plants need two things in addition to the quality soil: good drainage and ventilation.
When building your garden box it is important to remember that a raised square foot garden is heavy. If it contains too much water it can place too much strain on the base. Also, standing water in the bottom of your garden will lead to root damage and probably rot the base. You will provide adequate drainage by drilling the center of each 1 foot box. A quarter inch hole should be big enough. You should also drill a hole in each corner of the box. Having a one or two inch layer of gravel in the bottom of your garden box will lead to better drainage.
As well as drainage, the holes you have drilled will provide a measure of ventilation to the roots. This can be improved by drilling holes into the sides of the garden box at the mid point of the 1 foot grids. Because you will be constantly working the soil in your foot square garden you will prevent it from becoming too compact. The extra ventilation can lead to better plant growth because the roots will have a better access to free oxygen in the soil.