Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Square Foot Gardening

One thing that connects Pat to my mother is his love of growing fresh vegetables. In the 80's he noticed a program on PBS which featured a gardening technique that compacts crops into square foot sections. The technique, by Mel Bartholomew, is explained in his book Square Foot Gardening.

Living on an acre + of land, we do have plenty of room to have a traditional garden, but we also have maybe 40' of limestone below a 1/2" layer of dirt. For that reason, most of the beds that have been established by Pat are raised gardens. Another reason for the small area is if you use the Square Foot gardening method, you really do not need a lot of space! Pat dug this 16' x 8' plot in December 2006. I actually helped a little.

The main advantages to Square Foot gardening are:
  • ease of weeding and cultivation
  • uses less water
  • high yield in a small space
  • it looks good!
This is our third year for the garden and Pat mainly plants radishes, onions and tomatoes. This year he has decided to move the tomatoes into pots in order to free up space for broccoli and cabbage. Because the garden is next to the house, it does not catch as much sunlight as it should for high yields. However, for the last two summers the garden has yielded enough onions to last from summer through winter. Pat also plants cilantro, lettuces in the fall, and peppers. I'll update you on this year's garden around the end of June.

upper right: Pat stands by the newly created garden
left: Our garden for the 2009 growing season (3/18/09)

1 comment:

  1. We are planning a square foot garden this for this year. So far we have only been getting our feet wet in backyard gardening.

    We purchased this place knowing we would have a fair bit of fixing up so we didn't do a lot of gardening in the past 3 years.

    It's time to get started and square foot gardening seems to be the use of our space.

    Every thing I read about SFG seems positive so I would be silly not to give it a go.