There are many different ways to garden, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. To begin, I thought I’d explain why, when I wanted to garden, I chose the square foot method.
Easy Setup: The gardening bug hit me hard, but my husband has yet to catch it. I needed a garden I could plan, build, and maintain all by myself. I ordered my boxes from www.squarefootgardening.com, hauled peat moss, vermiculite, and bags of compost in my Ford Taurus, and put it all together with the help of a 15-year old neighbor girl.
Space: Our lot is about 1/5 of an acre, and while I could have made room for a traditional garden it would have taken up most of my backyard.
Simplicity: While there are a ton of things you CAN do to grow a successful garden, there are only a few things that MUST be done. Mel Bartholemew’s book All New Square Foot Gardening gives simple instructions to build, plant, and harvest a garden. BTW, the cheapest place to buy the book is Amazon.com.
Now, the best reason to do SFG became clear about halfway through the growing season:
NO WEEDING. One of my boxes sits next to a weed-infested city park (separated only by chain link), and it grew maybe 10 weeds total. The other boxes had no weeds at all. I can easily say I spent less than 1% of my time pulling weeds. Following Mel’s method and using his “Mel’s Mix” instead of soil removed the most time-consuming and annoying aspect of gardening–weeds.
In the future I hope to do a short overview of some of the other methods, and list the pros and cons of each.Happy gardening!