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  #21  
Old 02-18-2009, 07:56 PM
sarah h's Avatar
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Default Re: Are you planning your gardens yet?

This thread got me thinking (always dangerous!) about how to get started with a veggie garden this year and what I've come up with is something called the Square Foot Gardening method, developed by some guy in Utah, I think.

Anyone used this system?
Is it as easy and foolproof as it sounds?
(Then again, if I can build an oven ... )
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  #22  
Old 02-18-2009, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Are you planning your gardens yet?

I have done this. I though it worked pretty good. In fact thinking about it make makes me think I'd like to try it again.
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  #23  
Old 02-19-2009, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Are you planning your gardens yet?

Ok, so what is the Square Foot gardening Method? And does it work in metric as well? I'm all for anything fool proof, specially in the garden.
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  #24  
Old 02-19-2009, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: Are you planning your gardens yet?

I've used it. In fact, the trellises I use are a modification of the ones he describes. I don't like his rigidity on using the grid, etc., but his techniques are a great place to start, particularly if you're not terribly experienced in gardening.

I think you could use it, Frances. Just divide up your meters into quarters, and go from there. He gives planting densities per square for different veggies. If you like to make the most of your space, it's a good way to go. You can get a much higher rate of return on your space, with fewer weeds, than if you use a traditional row garden. Be sure you keep your beds adequately fed, though, since it will use more nutrients to get a higher return. Manure and compost do fine, for the most part. I was short some magnesium last year in my tomato bed and had really weird looking plants until I figured it out and put epsom salts on them. They get this yellow striping in the middle of the leaves. I thought it was some new virus at first.

I do carrots, bush beans (when I bother with them, usually I grow pole beans), lettuces, eggplant and peppers his way. I don't use his method for tomatoes- I am NOT going to get into the business of training tomatoes on a trellis and having to pinch off shoots. I plop a reinforcing wire cage over 'em and let them go. Sure, they may be smaller, but I'm not in it for gigantor tomatoes to take to the county fair.
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  #25  
Old 02-19-2009, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Are you planning your gardens yet?

My wife and I started growing soybeans (edamame) a couple of years ago and we're hooked! The plants produce tons of tasty beans. We steam them, and the kids love to "pop" them out of their skins. Anyone else try these?

We've also been hooked on "Seeds of Change" out of New Mexico. A great little organic seed company.

Daren
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  #26  
Old 02-19-2009, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: Are you planning your gardens yet?

Quote:
Does it work in metric?
Yes, it's 120 cm x 120 cm outer dimensions (4' x 4'), divided into sixteen 30cm x 30 cm (one foot) squares, and made with lumber that's 15 to 20 cm wide (6 - 8") and about 5 cm (2") thick. And if you cut that in half (2' x 4' or 60 x 120 cm), and nail on a plywood bottom on your 8-square rectangular box, you can stand your garden on legs too (good for mobility-impaired or on apartment balconies).

You make one or many boxes and place them where you want, making sure there are 3-foot (one-metre) walkways between them. No digging or tilling - they're raised beds that you fill with your growing medium, which is recommended as three equal parts peat moss, compost and vermiculite (left over from your oven build ). So it doesn't matter if your natural soil is bad. As well, the mix inhibits weeds (especially if you lay landscape cloth underneath).

There's a website that gives more details - I'll try to find it and post a link.

Sarah

Last edited by sarah h; 02-19-2009 at 10:05 AM.
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  #27  
Old 02-19-2009, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: Are you planning your gardens yet?

I love edamame, but I haven't grown them. Are they as much of a pain to shell as lima beans? We eat them steamed several times a month. If I could freeze some of my own instead of buying them that would be even better!

I rub the bottom of each bowl with a cut clove of garlic, put in the steamed beans, shave parmesan or romano on top, and drizzle with a little good olive oil. Add some salt and pepper, and some toasted ciabatta, and it's a really good meal. The garlic rubbed on the bottom of the bowl keeps it from overwhelming the nice flavor of the edamame.

I like Seeds of Change too. Also Cook's Garden and Territorial. I got a link, from Wiley, I think, for Seed Saver's Exchange, which has a pdf catalog. Pretty cool as well.
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  #28  
Old 02-19-2009, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Are you planning your gardens yet?

Here's the link for Square Foot gardening:

The Official Site of Square Foot Gardening and Mel Bartholomew, Originator and Author

Sarah

Last edited by sarah h; 02-19-2009 at 10:04 AM.
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  #29  
Old 02-19-2009, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: Are you planning your gardens yet?

Oh, this is too funny, I just received the square foot gardening book this Xmas! And I'm planning on trying it out in my 10'x16' vegi garden bed this spring. I was looking at all the 2"x8" x 6' long lumber I used for forming my ovens base and hearth slab (8 pieces total) and going to experiment with using them in raised beds using his methods (instead of just tossing them since they have some concrete on them.
I'm still picking & eating bitter and sweet dandelion greens that overwintered and arugala that re-seeded. Another reason to get my oven built so I can get to the vegi garden and build those raised beds.
It's exciting to see people get ready for the season. Dino
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  #30  
Old 02-19-2009, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Are you planning your gardens yet?

How about a new pond with herbs around it!
Doe's that count?

No room for a garden in my backyard.......
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