Do you want to start your own vegetable garden but think it’s just too much work? Think about it, you need to till the plot, amend it with organic material, fertilize it, etc. The typical American garden is 20’ x 35’ or 700 square feet – that’s a lot of work – and you have to do it every year!
Do you know that it typically takes SEVEN YEARS to get your soil “just right” by adding organic material? By then you’ve probably moved and sold your house to someone who doesn’t garden! Would you be interested in a gardening method where you start out right on the very first day, that requires very little work and you only need three tools – a trowel, scissors and a pencil?
While the focus of this blog will mainly be on the Square Foot Gardening (SFG) method, we will also cover other garden-related topics such as pests, the best vegetable varieties for our area, optimal planting times, etc. So even if you choose another gardening method, keep coming back and you should find some information you can use.
Speaking of planting times . . . The week of February 9th is nine weeks before our Last Spring Frost Date - which is April 15th. We are in USDA Hardiness Zone 7a. That means you can start your broccoli, cabbage, parsley, cauliflower and onion seeds indoors. But just a few of each so they don’t ripen all at once. Planning for your HARVEST is just one of the philosophies you’ll learn in a future article.
A little history about Square Foot Gardening: Mel Bartholomew developed the SFG method in the mid-1970s because he hated all the hard work associated with gardening. He is NOT a horticulturist (nor am I) but rather a civil engineer and an efficiency expert. You may have seen his show on PBS, Discovery and The Learning Channel (TLC). The original Square Foot Gardening book is the #1 selling gardening book – EVER!
In 2001 Mel came out of retirement to publish the All New Square Foot Gardening book and start a foundation (www.squarefootgardening.org) whose goal is to end world hunger not by providing food, but showing people how to feed themselves and their families. This is certainly a lofty goal, but also a worthy one. Mel encourages all SFG teachers to add a humanitarian component to their teaching and their SFG businesses.
With Square Foot Gardening you get 100% of the harvest with only:
20% of the space
10% of the water
5% of the seed
2% of the work
And almost NO weeding!
(as compared to a traditional row garden)
It is the easiest method for a first-time gardener to use.
This means that even if you live in a townhouse with just a tiny patio in the back, you can grow some of your own food. As an example: in a 4’ x 4’ raised bed you can grow SIXTEEN different vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Once you learn more about the benefits of the SFG method you’ll be able to ENJOY your garden and not become a slave to it.
I would LOVE you to introduce yourself, let me know how long you’ve been gardening and what method you currently use (traditional row, block style, non-SFG raised beds, intensive, container or SFG) OR if you are a beginner and WANT to garden. Also let me know what “extra” topics you’d like to know about when I’m not writing specifically about Square Foot Gardening.