Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Square Foot Gardening 1 of 5 - Intro

Do you like a well-planned, orderly place? Then Square Foot Gardening may be ideal for you. This method is also great if, like me, you enjoy detail and general persnickityness.

Square Foot Gardening is wonderful for the new gardener or one whose space is limited. As long as it gets at six hours of direct sunlight per day, you could grow a charming little Square Foot Garden on your apartment balcony.

Several decades ago, Mel Bartholomew developed Square Foot Gardening and wrote a book by that name in 1981. Two million sold copies later, gardeners are still adopting his method, which has been updated in “All New Square Foot Gardening" (2006).
Square Foot Gardening is great for small spaces.

If you decide to give this garden method a try, you will build 4-foot-square wooden boxes and fill them with a special growing medium. Within each box you will grid out veggies, herbs or flowers, with each section 1 square foot.

Now, if you're a math whiz, and I know you are, you'll realize that each box will have 16 squares for planting. And if you take square foot gardening on faith, you will grow a crazy number of plants in very little space.

“All New Square Foot Gardening” lays it all out, and I have scoured the book many times. There seem to be so many advantages that I thought, “Why not?”

·        Watering - A square foot garden uses a lot less water than a traditional row garden.
·        Spacing - Instead of planting excess seeds then thinning them out to a specified spacing, in a square foot garden you plant them at that spacing. 
·        Lots of plants - you'll be amazed how many plants you will get in one square.
·        Weeds inside the box - You won't have many weeds within the box, and those you get will be simple to pull because the soil mixture is so loose.
·        Weeds outside the box - You're not watering surrounding weed seeds; correspondingly you won't have many weeds around your boxes.
·        Garden space - Square Foot Gardening takes up A LOT less space than conventional long-row gardening.
·        Planting medium - It uses a nutritious “soil” mixture that you never have to change or fertilize -- just add to it.
·        Portability - The boxes can be moved around.

·        Other - You'll be able to very easily conduct a system of companion planting and natural crop rotation. Plus you'll never have to till again.

Disclaimer: Since I bought a chest freezer (no wait, I mean a freezer that is a chest), I have much more room for my harvest, so I have gone back to the crazy yields of row gardening.

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