Monday, June 8, 2009
I was first introduced to 'Square Foot Gardening' growing method around 25 years ago through a gardening television show. I ordered the book offered at the end of the show and have it to this day although I haven't needed to refer to it in many years. This concept works as good today as it did back then and can be modified for all sizes of gardens.
The very basic idea is that just about any garden variety vegetable can grow in a 'square foot' of space. This works whether you have an acre garden plot or a couple planters on your high rise apartment patio. If you have a square foot of earth you can grow a tomato plant, any variety of pepper plant, or even your own fresh watermelon.
The "Square Foot Gardening" book recommends 4 X 8 foot raised beds which when measured out can accommodate 16 plants. Taller growing plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans must be provided a trellis to grow upwards and should be planted at the 'back' of the bed - furthest from the sun so as not to block sun from the shorter plants. Next would come peppers, eggplants, or bush beans and in the front vegetables such as carrots, celery, leaf lettuce, and radishes.
Remember though we are talking square foot so the smaller plants mentioned you will plant according to the seed package directions so you can plant a bunch of carrots in one foot - not just one carrot. Also remember when the smaller crops are harvested you can mix a little fertilizer in that square and plant another crop in that space.
While you can grow a beautiful cherry tomato plant in a 12 inch pot I recommend a 14-16 in one just to give that plant a more solid base because it will get big as long as you feed and water regularly. So if you are concerned about what you are eating and want fresh, safe produce you can grow your own no matter where you live. And as this is my favorite form of garden planning I will discuss this more in later posts but for now - happy planting.
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