Spring is here and one of my goals this year is to start a vegetable garden. Now, I have been known to have a black thumb and kill any living plant in a 50 foot radius, but I’m encouraged by this book, All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.
A friend told me about Square Foot Gardening (SFG) so I checked out the book at our library and I read almost 100 pages last night! (That’s an accomplishment for me!) I am very encouraged and am really feeling optimistic that I can do this!
The main idea is to plant your garden in a 4×4 box made from 2×6″ boards placed on top of the ground. This way you can reach everything without walking on your soil. Instead of trying to improve your local dirt/soil, you make a mixture of Mel’s specifications (it’s 3 ingredients) and then you start out with excellent soil instead of waiting 7 years to get your local soil right and then moving. Then make a grid on top, dividing your box into 16 one-square-foot portions. You can then plant up to 16 different veggies, spacing them as specified on the back of your seed packet. For instance, the book suggested planting cabbage, which you could only plant 1 head in a square foot, but other veggies, such as carrots, can be planted 3 inches (or whatever) apart, so you could fit many more carrots, etc. He claims this is more efficient than traditional row gardening and that you can plant and harvest as much as a row garden in 20% of the space!
Anywho. They recommend at least 1 4×4 box garden per family member, though you could have up to 3 – one with salad greens, one with dinner veggies and one for food storage. However, he cautions you to start small and build up as you deem appropriate for your family and needs. SO – we will be starting with one box, although my tendency is to go big. But as he pointed out, if you go too big, it will get overwhelming, so I’m going to heed his good advice!
So that’s what “springing” up here in CA. What about you? What does spring look like where you are?