Previously I wrote about Weedless Gardening. Last year many people stopped in and talked about “The Square Foot Gardening Book.” So I decided to purchase the book and read the 2nd version. I found myself wanting to try it out right away! I haven’t started yet but it looks like I am going to try put something together this week. The main advantages to Square foot gardening are these.
1. It takes way less time! Less time worrying about the right nutrients in the soil, less time weeding, and is more fool proof. The #1 thing that gardeners complain about is weeding!! And this helps limit your time doing this.
2. It is easier to start. Sometimes gardening can be overwhelming with tilling, fertilizing, row spacing, and other variables. This way of gardening looks to get rid of the variables by making every part of it easier. The hardest part is getting started. Just need good soil in the top 6”
3. You can square foot garden anywhere. No need to dig up your lawn or stick it in the back corner. You can square foot garden right off your deck, in your landscape, or even(if you want) on your deck, sidewalk, or driveway.
10 major improvements in the update version:
1. Location – Close to the house. The closer to the house you have it the easier it will be. And if you have a raised garden you can put it anywhere.
2. Direction up, not down – Put together your perfect soil mix in a raised bed instead of mixing in existing soil.
3. Soil-Mel’s Mix—1/3 peat, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 blended compost. We actually have our own mix of Raised garden soil with peat and vermiculite in and then we mix in Dr. Earth compost which is one of the most biologically diverse. No need to buy 5 different kinds.
4. Box Depth – Only 6”! You do not need 12” that you originally thought. 6” of good soil mix is all you really need.
5. No Fertilizer – You don’t need it. Commercial fertilizer you should not need in your garden. An organic fertilizer never hurt but you want to get most of your nutrients from your compost you start with and the compost you add.
6. Easy Access – Above Ground. 4 x 4 boxes are the easiest sizes to handle and easiest to walk around.
7. The Aisles – Comfortable Width. Make sure to leave 3-4’ between boxes so you can comfortably maneuver between the boxes.
8. The Grids –Prominent and permanent. Get some lats or small boards to but across to make your grid for planting. Don’t mess with string.
9. Novel Idea—Don’t waste seeds. Don’t use all of your seeds, some last as long as 5 years.
10. Expanded Opportunities – Tabletop Gardens. Use smaller boxes or containers to move around on patio table or on your deck.