Monday, December 21, 2009

Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening is Great for Urban Settings!

Here in Mesa, Arizona you can grow year round.  Just look at this lovely garden box full of young lettuce.  Soon we will be harvesting this lettuce mix by cutting the tops and allowing additional leaves to form and replace what has been cut.  Amazingly, this 4 foot by 4 foot box will supply plenty of lettuce, even for our family of 6.  Be sure to use Non-Hybrid (Open Pollinated) Seeds, so that after harvesting the seeds you can begin to build your personal supply of seeds.

But before reaching this point we need to explain how to get here!  First, start with the All New Square Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew.  It is an indispensible guide and can be found online or at larger book stores:
Square Foot Gardening

This is a comprehensive guide that takes you through the background of Square Foot Gardening, the Philosophy behind it, how to begin, the composition of the soil mix, how to build boxes, how to plant, how to harvest, etc.  Basically, it will take you through all aspects of Square Foot Gardening.

One of the best parts about Square Foot Gardening is the fact that the whole family really gets excited about it!  We really enjoyed working as a family on the boxes and soil mix:

We first start by pre-drilling holes into the sides of the garden boxes as seen above.  This made it easy to screw the sides together to form the box.

We were putting the boxes directly on to Bermuda Grass, so we had to put a bottom on the boxes to keep grass from growing up through.  We then drilled holes in the bottom and put landscape fabric on top and bottom to keep grass from growing up through the holes.

This box is ready to fill with "Mel's Mix", but don't bury your kids!  This would probably make a great sand box, but we need it to grow wondeful vegetables.

We stopped to pose for a picture after arranging our boxes and soil mix.

Mel's Mix basically consists of equal parts of the following materials:  Compost, Vermiculite and Peat Moss.  These three materials mixed together create the perfect blend for your planter boxes.  Be sure to read Mel's book carefully and enjoy your new project!

Don't forget your can of Non-Hybrid Seeds available at Preparing Wisely to start off with great open pollinated vegetables seeds.

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