Monday, April 11, 2011

A HOW TO on SQUARE FOOT Gardening.

SAVE money...SAVE water...SAVE energy.

Hi, I know I was going to catch up with you all this weekend...but our Mamas and Chicks Show is coming up(April 29th) and I am settling questions to 60 vendors all day it's taking MUCH of my desired time to blog,create and visit your Worlds...

ANYWAY...I am now here and am going to tell you about the Square Ft Gardening seminar which I went to last week.
It was GREAT...we learnt that you basically can grow a garden in 20% of the space of a regular Veggie garden.
That means you need 20% of the water! and 20% of the energy! AND it will yield 3 harvests!!!

Square ft Garden example from HERE

I took notes(very messy ones)...but the seminar was only one hour in length...and I think a lot was crammed in...which is why the lady giving the seminar handed us a sheet of paper at the end with ALL the info on which she'd just discussed...

SO...The 10 basics of Square ft Gardening are :
  1. LAYOUT - Arrange your garden in squares, not rows (as shown above). Lay it out 4' by 4' areas.
  2. BOXES - Build boxes to hold new soil mix above ground - only 6" deep.(lay weed barrier under boxes)
  3. AISLES - Space boxes 3' apart to form walking aisles.
  4. SOIL - Fill boxes with special mix : 1/3compost(made from many different ingredients),1/3 peat moss,1/3 coarse vermiculite. No need to use existing soil.
  5. GRID - Make a square ft grid for the top of each box to organise the garden for planting.
  6. CARE - Never walk on the growing soil. Tend your garden from the aisles. Few, if any, weeds sprout and are easily pulled with fingers. Soil stays loose and friable. Easy to protect from weather.
  7. SELECT - Plant different flowers,vegetables, or herb crop in each square ft,using spacing of 1,4,9,16(show's in diagram below). Crop rotation happens naturally.
  8. PLANT - Conserve seeds. Plant only what you will use during each season. NO waste.
  9. WATER - Idealy water by hand from a bucket of Sun -warmed water (hose or drip system ok)
  10. HARVEST - When you finish harvesting a square ft,add compost to replenish nutrients and re-plant with a new and different crop.

Spacing Chart from HERE


You must try and pick a spot where your garden will get at least between
6 and 9 hours of Sun a day...
Stay clear of trees and shrubs as roots and shade may interfere.
Have your Garden close to you house for convienience.
Your Existing soil is NOT important as you won't be usiing it.
And it mustn't be in an area which will puddle after rain-fall.

The MIX.
SOIL - Fill boxes with special mix :
1/3compost(made from many different ingredients),
1/3 peat moss,
1/3 coarse vermiculite. No need to use existing soil.
I've been reading that people think there's NOT enough compost and too much Peat...which means that the water and moisture levels are low and the soil feels you could up the proportions of compost. I guess it really depends on WHERE in the World you live.

Grid made from wood slats.

What is stressed that when planting your seeds you put a pinch of seeds in the hole you make and when they start shooting you just snip the top of all but one in that group.
Flowers do really well amongst the squares of vegetables...and what could be better than fresh flowers in your house.
Refer to the spacing chart above for how many of which vegetables should be growing in each square depending on their size.

Look at the yield you can get. Phot from HERE
All in all, I think this is the way I may be going...we don't have an area too large where we can have veggies which will get the rays of the Sun all day...and I would LOVE to give our girls a couple of grid squares which they choose what they would like to gtow...and take care of.
I am hoping to add this mix to baskets for the front of the house and grow lavender and herbs.
These grid boxes don't have to be just the regular 4x4ft can stack them...make them 2x6...or an L shape...
The Deck could have individual 1x1 ft containers..

Have you ever dabbled in Mel Bartholomew's Square Ft Gardening?
Here's a little Video by Mel himself!
and this one:
BUT there are also many websites to check in to like THIS ONE.

I hope you've understood my babble...

I'm looking forward to getting started.
NOW we have Spring happening here in Canada...we can get on with planting.


How does YOUR Garden Grow?

earthy HUGS


pilli pilli said...

Oh dear!
I wish our balconies were just a little bit bigger! I would definitely LOVE to give this a try!

Having moved back into the city, not being able to keep a bit of a garden is one of the things I miss most! (But I just know that one day we'll be living in a green, green village once again!)

good luck with the SHOW
& thanks for sharing your notes!!!

Tara said...

I am definitely going to have to give this a try in some form or another. Thanks for the info, Char.

andrea creates said...

looks great.we started working on ours again last weekend. one of my favorite parts of moving to a house with a yard, is being able to eat some of our own veggies :)

PoetessWug said...

My hubby is about to get our garden underway. He's already been in the dirt and it's barely warm enough to be outside even!!! ANTICIPATION!! :-))

blue china studio said...

This is great! I would really like to do this but most of my yard is shaded. Hmmm, must find a spot for this. Thanks for the great info!

Beaky said...

This sounds great! I have printed off the details already. I have a small garden with a small veggie patch which kept me in lettuce and tomatoes last summer. I might give this a try. Thanks!
B x
P.s I am having a giveaway on my blog

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