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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5,066

    Default Square Foot Gardening - anyone doing it? Tried it?

    I bought the book and I just started a compost barrel today.

    In SC, I'll be able to plant lettuces, spinach, and onion plants as soon as I can get the box set up.

    I live on a farm, so it may seem odd for me to do a space-saving method of gardening. But I'm tired of weeding and pest-control and etc in the heat of summer in my former huge row crop garden. I like that this method promises less upkeep.

    Has anyone else tried Square Foot Gardening? I'd love to read your experiences, tips, etc.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    5,716

    Default

    We did one in the raised bed in front of the feed store where I work. It was a reasonable success, especially for the herbs and lettuces. I wasn't there for the planting of the box and I wouldn't have planted a HUGE sunflower plant in the middle (for visual effect I think) nor would I have placed two non-determinate tomato plants on one side! LOL Those three plants totally overwhelmed the box by August! Ours was a 4X4 box I think? but only 18 inches deep and I think some of the plants felt a little rootbound and washed out by the end of the season too... But we got a lot of herbs and produce out of it and the customers loved being able to help themselves to the grape tomatoes and sprigs of rosemary and spinach as they walked by... certainly got a lot of results for the space!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5,066

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cowboymom View Post
    We did one in the raised bed in front of the feed store where I work. It was a reasonable success, especially for the herbs and lettuces. . . [W]e got a lot of herbs and produce out of it and the customers loved being able to help themselves to the grape tomatoes and sprigs of rosemary and spinach as they walked by... certainly got a lot of results for the space!
    What a great idea! I bet the customers did love that!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2011
    Posts
    886

    Default

    I did it at home last winter/spring and loved it! We had so much spinach and lettuce along with broccoli that we were eating all we could and giving it to family every week.

    This year I am doing it at school and we are having good success with it.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2003
    Posts
    2,653

    Default

    I'd love to, but my blankety-blank-blank neighbors planted these huge trees that block off most of the sunlight in my yard. I'll have to relandscape completely in order to have a garden again.
    Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    16,684

    Default

    I did it last year for the first time. It worked very well. I did share some pics on here at one point on a thread last year you might find in a search. I had a wonderful crop of sweet potatoes...something like 100lbs from an 4x12 bed. Unreal.

    I did find it somewhat easier to do than an in ground garden. I also found it drained better and we had a wet summer so the veggies did not get drowned. the year before Hurricane Irene killed my garden in August with heavy rains. Our soil here has a high water level and that can be an issue.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2012
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    506

    Default

    OP, could you post the title of the book? It sounds interesting.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    Rising Sun, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    5,128

    Default

    I've done the 4' by 4' raised beds the last 2 years with varying degrees of success. I usually end up with some of the plants getting overwhelmed :-( I'm also not the best when it comes to weeding. I also don't know how much of what plants to grow... there are only 2 of us and we don't need 100 tomatoes, but perhaps we needed more than 2 okra plants... lol. Also my son is only 4 and can be rather picky when it comes to veggies. Sigh. I plan to give it another go this year and would love to hear how people had successes or what to do to have better success!
    http://www.leakycreek.com/
    http://leakycreek.wordpress.com/ Rainbows & Mourning Doves Blog
    John P. Smith II 1973-2009 Love Always
    Father, Husband, Friend, Firefighter- Cancer Sucks- Cure Melanoma



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5,066

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crackerdog View Post
    OP, could you post the title of the book? It sounds interesting.
    Sure. It's Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Calera, AL
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    I do redneck container gardening. Does that count? Emphasis on redneck - but remember, I'm at the dead end of a dirt road:

    http://s27.beta.photobucket.com/user...tml?sort=3&o=3

    http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c1...eckgarden1.jpg

    (Potatoes are in the feed sacks.)



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2012
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    506

    Default

    Thank you! I added it to my wish list.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    7,372

    Default

    I have. And I won't go back. 90% of my time was spent trying to deal with weeds in the rows, and tilling up large spaces.

    Here are my blog posts most relevant to square foot gardening

    http://2manytomatoes.blogspot.com/se...ive%20Planting



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    Rising Sun, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    5,128

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alabama View Post
    I do redneck container gardening. Does that count? Emphasis on redneck - but remember, I'm at the dead end of a dirt road:

    http://s27.beta.photobucket.com/user...tml?sort=3&o=3

    http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c1...eckgarden1.jpg

    (Potatoes are in the feed sacks.)
    Love it! The ultimate in recycling!

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlex View Post
    I have. And I won't go back. 90% of my time was spent trying to deal with weeds in the rows, and tilling up large spaces.

    Here are my blog posts most relevant to square foot gardening

    http://2manytomatoes.blogspot.com/se...ive%20Planting
    Beautiful!
    http://www.leakycreek.com/
    http://leakycreek.wordpress.com/ Rainbows & Mourning Doves Blog
    John P. Smith II 1973-2009 Love Always
    Father, Husband, Friend, Firefighter- Cancer Sucks- Cure Melanoma



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2006
    Location
    Colorado- Yee Haw!
    Posts
    3,138

    Default

    I have done one for six or so years and love it! I started with the Mel's mix and had very few weeds for the first three years. That has changed. I need to do a black plastic bake- but the beds will make doing that easier.

    I have all 6" beds and have done great with onions, lettuce, peas, tomatoes, eggplant, green beans and herbs. I have one taller box with carrots. My irrigation isn't right in that box though. When I built them I put drip lines in them all and I have maxed out the water available.

    They really have been awesome. It was great this summer to have my 2yo picking peas, beans and tomatoes for a snack. The book was so helpful in getting started. My boxes are different shapes to fit my garden - a triangle and rectangles. I have flagstone paths between them for low mainenance (and I had a pile of extra from a retaining wall I built.)

    I learn something every year. Have fun!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,863

    Default

    I'm also in SC and I did it for the first time last year. What started as one 4'x2', quickly became two... then suddenly there was a 4'x10' out there as well lol. I did potatoes, tomatoes, snap peas, peppers, lettuce, spinach, carrots... looking forward to being better organized this coming year.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,204

    Default

    I love it. It was my introduction to backyard gardening. I've modified it a bit to raised beds and containers, but I still estimate how much stuff I can put in one area using it. I teach a wellness class online and we eventually get to talking about growing your own food. We always have the same conversations -urban dwellers don't think they have the space to garden and I explain the concept and that they could put a pot on their balconies and grow, for example, one tomato and 10 carrots, or 4 peppers, or 1 or 2 lettuce heads in the same area.

    The nice thing about square foot gardening is that you can grow alot in a few containers and raised beds and it just doesn't seem like it's as much work as in the ground. Well in alot of ways it isn't; no compacted soil, no burrowers, etc., but it also feels like less work because each time you're just working in one container or one raised bed.

    Incidentally I don't make them more than 3 feet wide to facilitate reaching comfortably into the middle.

    It's pretty cool stuff.
    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,997

    Default

    I normally garden but last year we tried square foot gardening (to some degree) and it was great. Put in 4 4x8 beds:

    http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a2...D550/ry%3D400/

    http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a2...D550/ry%3D400/

    and three 3x6 beds that were supposed to get fall plantings with cold frames but we never got the frames up...hopefully this year...

    http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a2...D550/ry%3D400/

    In addition to those I have a "regular" garden plus an herb/kitchen garden...so all in all we have quite a few beds. But thinking of adding two more 4x8s to go with the four from last year, and a lot of re-thinking about what will go where....we didn't think it through very well and ended up with beds with silly combinations like radishes and carrots....which would have been better off like radishes + lettuce and then replant with fall kale and spinach....

    But it was great fun, and lots of veggies!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    16,684

    Default

    Half the fun is planning what to put in the beds and how to keep them full and productive. I have cabbage and kale in some now and lettuce, carrots, onions, and parsnips in another. I'm still eating fresh garden food in December.

    I want to build a frame and plastic cover to make them cold frames so I can start plants out even earlier this year.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,997

    Default

    One of the *benefits* of our abnormally warm year is that I am still pulling beets and carrots out of my gardens (even without cold frames), although the recent snow and cold snap might be the end of that.

    But I am excited about planning for next year. I hadn't looked at my garden pictures until I saw this thread but how can you not get excited about gardening with pictures like this:

    http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a2...D550/ry%3D400/

    http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a2...D550/ry%3D400/

    http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a2...D550/ry%3D400/

    http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a2...D550/ry%3D400/

    http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a2...D550/ry%3D400/




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