Tag Archives: gardening

Square Foot Gardening-The Beginning

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I try to plant a garden of some sort every year.  Some years it is a large scale plot, and sometimes it’s a few containers with tomatoes.  I don’t know why I feel the need to plant a garden each year…but it’s more than just something to do.  I am truly urged to plant one each year…from within.  Even as a child, I would have my parents help me plant something.  I aspire to have a garden big enough to sustain our vegetable needs all year.  Could I attain that?

Well, this year I am trying a new system for me.  Actually, it’s not totally new.  I have had raised beds before, but never saw a big difference between a raised bed and just planting in the ground.  So this year, I bought the book, All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.   I figured this was like the bible of all raised bed gardening books out there, and boy was I right.  First, I found out exactly what I was doing WRONG!  Here are some key points:

1.  Row gardening is a waste of space, money, and time (I kinda knew that)

2. Raised beds are more efficient in time, money, and crop yield.

3. You only need 6 inches of soil to plant in (YEP…That’s right! 6 inches)

4. NEVER dig up your soil.  You are not going to use it!

5. Don’t skimp on the soil you put in your bed. If you are only giving your plants 6 in. of dirt…it better be great dirt!

The book is absolutely wonderful.  If you have the old version of his book, you’ll want to buy the new one.  Besides being prettier and full of color, the new book has major changes to his philosophy.  Over the last couple decades, he has tested and found that there was much room for improvement.  Definitely get his new book!

I’ll be posting about our garden adventures throughout the spring and summer…so check back.

Garden Status:

  • 3 boxes made (4′ x 4′) 1 more box that size to make and a 4’x1′ box to make
  • Seeds have been started….already getting sprouts. I let the kids pick out some seeds, but mostly I purchased veggies we buy on a regular basis.  I will be trying a couple new things this year.  Celery, Carrots and Potatoes.  I will NOT be putting potatoes in the boxes (although you can if you raise the sides).  I will be growing them in a trash can!  Check back for updates on that too!
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