Square Foot Gardening

(Images from www.democraticunderground.com)

This year I am hoping to have a successful vegetable garden. During the past I have tried every year to do some gardening, but have only grown a handful of fresh vegetables. In researching different gardening methods I have decided to try square foot gardening.

Square foot gardening was popularized by Mel Bartholemew; it is a very efficient way to create an organic vegetable garden. In the modest space of 64 sq ft (2 – 4’ x 4’ beds) you can grow enough fresh produce to feed a family of four.

Important Elements to a Square Foot Garden

· Create raised beds that are between two and four feet in width (possible combinations include: 2 x 2, 3 x 3, 2 x 6, 4 x4…). These dimensions allow the garden the entire bed at arms reach. When you walk on the soil it becomes compacted causing distress to the plant roots.

· The garden beds should receive full sunlight from 6-8 hours each day, and should be located in an area of well-drained soil.

· Soil preparation should include a mix of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 compost. This is a lightweight soil that will maintain appropriate amounts of water and provide adequate minerals for growing plants.

· Create a grid system by dividing the garden in one-foot squares. The grid system will allow you to easily remove plants at the end of the harvest cycle and replace with additional plants. This system will also help eliminate wasteful planting.

· Plants should be planted with consideration of their final growth size and habits. Plants that grow on vines such as squash, watermelons, beans, peas, and tomatoes should be trained to grow on a trellis.

· A plant spacing guide can be found at “My Square Foot Garden” (http://www.mysquarefootgarden.net/plant-spacing/)

Other Square Foot Garden Sites

· www.squarefootgardening.com

· Edenspath.wordpress.com

· timssquarefootgarden.com

· journeytoforever.org

· frugaldad.com/2008/03/03/how-to-build-a-square-foot-garden

· beingfrugal.net/2008/03/10/building-a-square-foot-garden

· www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/04/21/an-introduction-to-square-foot- gardening

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