I've been learning about square foot gardening lately. Bought the book and am reading it now. I'm not a fan of the "Yes, it really works!" infomercial tone it takes sometimes, but the simplicity of the system is winning me over. I plan to try a few beds this year.
The beds at work seem to be doing great. They've planted one with the "Mel's Mix" recommended in the book ~ 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat and 1/3 compost (pic at right, front bed).
They've also planted beds with different things in them, such as the Rose Soil and Hill Country Soil we sell, and one with straight manure compost (pic at left). It looks to me like the other soils do just as good, and maybe even a bit better for some crops, than the Mel's Mix. They're cheaper, too ~ less than half the cost of Mel's Mix (1/3 the cost in some cases).
Comparison of different beds (top to bottom) ~ 1/2 Rose Soil and 1/2 peat, Mel's Mix, 1/2 Hill Country Soil and 1/2 peat, and straight Hill Country Soil.
This is a neat way to do the guides. It's concrete reinforcement wire used to make the various planting guides. The crm has 6"x6" holes, so if you cut out one "cross" per square foot, you'll get the main square foot guide to attach to your bed's frame. If you cut out one square foot total (as in the upper left guide laying on the main guide), you get a 6" spacing guide. You can cut and glue/weld other wires onto sections to get the other spacing guides. These last three aren't attached ~ just shown laying on the main guide in the pic to show the idea. You'll use them individually as you plant.
I just love the veggie garden at work. They make it look SO easy!