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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Square Foot Gardening

   
Author Topic: Square Foot Gardening
Uprooted
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I started a square foot garden this year following the method described in The All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.

Here are some pix if you're interested in that kind of thing:

This is the process of creating the box and this is the progress of my garden to date.

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Scott R
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We used twine to mark the squares. We have one 4X8 garden and one 4X4, plus some strawberries in a big planter box. It's been really good for our family.
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Uprooted
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I wish I had more room to put more boxes. That is really the only feasible sunny spot on our property that I can use. Scott, is this your first year or have you been doing it for a while?
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theCrowsWife
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We have the old book, and have several Square Foot style plots in our front yard (the only level area on our property). We just dig into the ground, and don't use any sort of planter boxes. This is mostly my husband's project, as he's too busy to get out to the big garden as often as necessary. Square Foot is useful for small areas where you're able to add the necessary fertility and water. I use very generous spacing at the big garden, since it's not practical to water things there and the plants need to be able to scrounge their own water and nutrients.

--Mel

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Scott R
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quote:
Scott, is this your first year or have you been doing it for a while?
Second year.
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dkw
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We're in our third year in this location. Our plot is 5'x13'which is really too wide, but it's a set plot in a community garden, so we're stuck with that. I just try to put stuff that we aren't going to need to reach as much in the middle. And I put two stepping stones in.

Here's the tomato end of the plot a few weeks ago.

We also just use masonry line to mark the squares. It's not as pretty as building the boxes, but it works fine.

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Uprooted
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My mother started using the technique when the first book came out in the early 80s, so I was familiar with it. She had a tabletop box on the back patio and several non-raised beds in the backyard. After struggling with the soil here for a few years with varying results, and having read the new book last year, I decided to give it a go this year because it was the best way I could figure to have a lot of veggies in a small space.

dkw, I did a modified version in a community garden as well, back a number of years ago. Yours looks good!

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Sala
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dkw, I'm really curious about the jars you have your plants in. Why are they in jars? Is there a bottom to the jars?
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dkw
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They are big plastic pretzel jars with the bottoms cut off. I put them around the tomatoes to act as little greenhouses because I plant early. Plus since we have to actually carry in water they make it easier to water faster without run-off -- the bottom edge of the jar is about 2" under the soil level so I can just pour water into the jar and let it soak in.
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Shan
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That is so nifty, dkw! I was reading about SFGs in a magazine this spring, but was not sure about trying it out. Thanks for sharing!
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