This year, my goal is to make my garden at least 75% square foot and raised bed. Last year it was about 25% that way and 75% traditional garden. The traditional garden didn't fair nearly as well as the raised bed and square foot portions did.
This site has some great tips and photos. http://www.squarefootgardening.com/
They are in the process of moving the site to a different web address, so be patient with them. I cheat--I don't buy their products, but I do copy them..... I also like http://www.raisedbedgardeningtips.com/ and http://organicgardening.about.com/od/startinganorganicgarden/a/raisedbed.htm and http://www.sunset.com/garden/perfect-raised-bed-00400000039550/.
I'd like to get out today and get some potting soil to start some seeds in (top of the fridge is a great place to start them-lots of light and heat from the fridge motor). But, since the propane truck got stuck coming in our drive this morning (leaving without giving us propane), I am not sure that I can get out to get any.
A great frugal way to start them is in cardboard egg cartons-one seed per egg holder. Then, you place that in a plastic cake container (the kind with the clear plastic lid). All recycled containers that don't cost anything!
When you plant your garden, if you have it running north and south, you will get more sunlight to your plants.
My potatoes were all raised last year, with success, so I think I will possibly double that this year. My potato bed was 4 plastic pallets, up on end, and wired together to make a square. I had dirt, and straw layered, with potato eyes planted in between. (You can do the same with stacked up old tires) I rarely buy my potato eyes--usually I have a few in the potato bin that are trying to sprout, and that is what I throw into my potato patch. It has worked well for me for several years doing it that way. To harvest, I simply un-
wire one corner and swing one pallet open and reach out to take out what I need, then wire it shut again. The picture doesn't due it justice, as the snow covers a good portion of it.
Don't spend a lot of money making your beds--usually you can find non treated wood or other materials that are scrapped by someone else to use.
Even old bamboo or wooden window blinds can be used as containers.
Also, check with a farmer to see what he has in his scrap pile that you can salvage--items such as big tires, leaking stock tanks, old mineral buckets and more can be used either above surface, or partially buried as containers. Some garden plants, such as horse radish and garlic do best in containers or else after a few seasons they can take over your entire garden and lawn.
Also check out http://www.periodicvideos.com/. It is all about the periodic table of elements. A good freebie!