Sunday, October 29, 2006

Square Foot Gardening - maximizing space & effort

We are re-reading one of our favorite books, Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening, and are intrigued by a question he raises in his introduction; "Does anyone know the real reason people garden?". For us, the answer is easy. We want a sure supply of affordable healthy food. We want to be sure that our food is chemical free, available when we need it, and won't break our budget keeping us fed. Mel shows how in a single 4' x 4' square, you can grow in two months the following supplies:

  • 32 carrots
  • 12 bunches of leaf lettuce
  • 18 bunches of spinach
  • 16 radishes
  • 16 scallions
  • 16 beets
  • 9 Japanese turnips
  • 5 pounds of peas
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 4 heads of romaine lettuce
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head of broccoli


If you need more, grow another square, and many more vegetable types are explained in his book. His method almost eliminates the hours typically spent maintaining a garden in a healthy weedless state. Well worth the read.

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