Thursday, February 12, 2009

Square Foot Gardening

Already contemplating the garden. I produced the most stunted produce last year. Not only do I want to compost to save waste from going in landfills, but my soil needs improvement. I have a book called Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew which is probably my favorite gardening book. I just found out he has a new version of the book. I like his ideas for easy and organized gardening. The basic idea is 4'x4' raised beds that are subdivided into 16 one foot blocks. Plants are planted according to the density best suited for them. One eggplant in one block. But maybe 16 carrots in the same size square. You get the picture. I have a variation on this with an L-shaped bed that is 4 foot wide. Next year I hope to have actual 4' square boxes as prescribed. One change in the old book to this book. In the old book, you dug down deep in to the soil and to the soil you removed, you added many things. Put it back into the raised bed (6"). In the new book, you remove sod, put on weed blocking material, lay your frame over and fill with vermiculite, peat moss, and compost---all bought. No fertilization needed. Each year, you just add your own homemade compost. I like the idea of this. The ease. But part of me wants the romance, the groundedness of eating vegetables grown in my local soil. Is it really local produce if all the soil is imported?

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