Yellowstone County MSU Extension Master Gardeners
2018 Square Foot Garden Upgrades
In 2003, Yellowstone County Master Gardeners were granted the use of a plot of land at MetraPark for a square foot demonstration garden. This technique reduces single row-sized gardens to a quarter of the size, without losing production. Row paths are eliminated, and plants are spaced the same distance apart as in row spacing.
In 2018, with hundreds of volunteer hours, the following upgrades were implemented in the demonstration garden:
- Nine raised-box growing beds installed.
- Weed barrier installed on walkways, covered with scoria gravel.
This demonstration garden, in place for 15 years, is a regular go-to spot for fair-goers, carnival workers and garden enthusiasts. Many community members commented on this year’s improvements and how these gardens are a great addition to the noisy environment of the fair’s midway.
The garden area was also used as a classroom this summer. Master Gardeners teaching a bee class said it was wonderful to have this outdoor location with all the seating options.
Plans for 2019 include installing raised-box perimeter beds and a rock garden along the front of the garden site to demonstrate xeriscape (low-water use) planting.
The purpose of this garden is to demonstrate the easy, square foot garden technique (usable no matter what the soil challenges are), to reduce garden size, eliminate tilling, and utilize smaller space gardens for maximum production. This style of garden can result in an abundance of locally-grown, fresh produce from an attractive garden system with less weeds, less water, and less work.