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Square foot gardening, a labour saving way to garden, how to optimize space in a small garden, growing vegetables etc.


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Square
Foot Gardening*

*Square Foot Gardening is a
registered trademarked name by Mel Bartholomew, originator and author.

Contribution from Dell Purdie of
New Zealand

You may know of this space and labour saving method of vegetable
gardening, known as Square-foot gardening.

Plants are planted in areas of one square foot in beds of any length
but only four feet wide. The reason for this is, that there is no need to tread on the bed
and hence to have to dig again after it is originally made, as it can be reached from
either side.

Plants are planted in small quantities at frequent intervals so not
all produce is coming on at once but rather spread over the whole season as required.

For example in conventional gardening, a row of lettuce may be
planted with say 20 plants, too many to use in the time span, where as 4 lettuce would be
planted in a square foot plot and a couple of weeks later another plot planted giving a
staggered maturity time.

Further, when the first square foot plot is empty, something else
can be sown immediately so there is no delay until the row is free for use again.

There are no spaces between rows as is the convention, so the garden
can be as little as 20% of the normal garden and yet still as productive, if not more so.

Number of plants per sq.ft.:

16 plants/sq.ft. (ie 3 inches apart)  

Beet; Carrots; Onions; Radish

9  plants/sq.ft. (ie 4 inches apart)

Beans, (Dwarf); Spinach

8 plants/sq.ft. (ie 3 inches apart in two rows 4 inches in from edge
of square)

Beans, (Pole); Peas.

4  plants/sq.ft. (ie 6 inches apart)

Chard, (Swiss); Silver beet; Lettuce; Parsley

1  plants/sq.ft. (ie12 inches apart)

Broccoli; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Egg Plant; Musk Melons; Peppers,
Tomatoes (Bush)

Many other plants can also be grown, it is up to the imagination of
the grower.

Small netting mesh cloches can be used to keep pests and pets off
seeds etc., too.


Mr. Mel Bartholomew, President and Founder of the
Square Foot
Gardening Foundation
, says that this style of gardening can benefit so many different
people, from introducing children to the pleasure of gardening to helping people around
the globe become self-sufficient.

The main benefits are –

  • Requires very little space; 80% less than conventional
    gardening.
     
  • Can be done in as little as 4 feet by 4 feet, — or as
    large as you want.
     
  • Your existing (bad) soil doesn’t matter because we
    don’t use it. Start with an ideal soil mix that is weed-free and requires no tilling.

     
  • Uses much less water; only about 20% required for
    conventional gardening.
     
  • No fertilizers or pesticides to handle — it’s all
    natural
     
  • The planting method requires no thinning and very few
    seeds.
     
  • All the hard work has been removed in the Square Foot
    method – only the enjoyable part remains.
     
  • Can be started in any season.

     
  • Produces 5 times the harvest of a conventional garden.

     
  • Can be done by those with physical or mental
    limitations. If getting down is a problem, raise the boxes to a wheelchair level.

     
  • Makes a great family project, all ages can participate
    – kids love to garden.

     


 

 

 

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