Growing your own food doesn’t necessarily require endless rows, large tractors and enough garden space. To have a successful yield of your own produce from even the smallest yards, calls for a technique – square foot gardening. It is the practice of growing small yet intensively planted gardens. Well, the system is well-suited for novice gardeners and for the planting areas with poor soil.
This method involves efficient ways for weed control, uses less water and gives better control over the soil consumption.
Square Foot Gardening Definition:
Square foot gardening is a technique of intensive gardening which involves raising plants & vegetables in a compact, raised bed that can grow variety of crops. The plantation area used in this system is basically a square which is broken into grids with crops grown in each grid. Developed by Mel Bartholomew; a retired civil engineer who describes this practice as the one that conserves labor, water and soil conditioners needed for maximum production in a garden space. As a general tip one should plant different crops in each grid of a square foot garden so as to get a vast variety of produce. To know what benefits it exactly offers, read further:
Square Foot Gardening Benefits:
Out of numerous advantages of square foot gardening, here are some of them that you should know. They are:
- TAKES LESS SPACE: Square foot gardening system efficiently works anywhere, even on a deck or a patio; all one needs is 4 feet x 4 feet area (or larger than this). However the space required in this system is 80% less than the one needed in conventional gardening.
- LESS MAINTENANCE: Unlike traditional gardening; square foot gardens require less care and maintenance. These gardens require no or very less tilling, very little compost, mulch or fertilizer. Even the water requirement in this process is 20% as compared to traditional gardening. Besides these, you won’t have to use a pickup truck to haul your material, heavy dig or need to build large compost piles. These garden systems are also easy to protect from garden pests, diseases and weeds.
- EASY PEST CONTROL: Square foot gardens are those types of gardens which provide an easy control over most of the pests. Moreover, due to their small size, covering them with barriers or cages is much more practical than with large-sized gardens. To get rid of various pests in large gardens; read garden pest control and treatment.
- EASIER WEED CONTROL & REMOVAL: Weed control and removal is easiest in this gardening technique with very less or no weeding. This is because crops have no rows between them. Moreover, the chances of weeds in your garden become negligible if you use a perfect soil mix.
- ELIMINATES OVER-PLANTING: Growing using square-foot technique helps the growers to focus on quantity of the food needed. On the other hand, large plots involve excess crop production out of which a major part gets destroyed. While the former grows sufficient crop needed throughout the year.
- MORE PRODUCE: This gardening method is known to produce high amount of crops in small space. Veggies such as onions, cabbages, peppers, beans, salad greens and many other small plants can be conveniently grown in this garden. Their amount is also more than that of conventional gardening.
- BEST SUITED FOR BEGINNERS: Out of curiosity, many novice gardeners tend to grow a bigger vegetable garden than they can manage. This results in a huge mess of untended, weedy garden leading to a bad gardening experience. Square foot gardens give them a better start for owing an attractive garden successfully.
- EASILY DONE BY PHYSICAL DISABLED: This gardening practice has a plus point that it can be easily done by people with physical disabilities. It’s because the garden is restricted to a small area and doesn’t pose any hindrance to their work.
- ELIMINATE HEAVY TOOLS: Traditional gardening generally requires heavy tools in order to loosen the soil while in this system, soil is not walked on thus it remains loose and more easily workable.
- Use raised beds, weed-free soil mix and weed barriers for highly nutritious and weed-free yield. You can add Olivia’s Growing Solution in your soil for much faster propagation.
- If you are planting 2 or more plots, leave some space between them for easy maintenance.
- People with any kind of physical disability can raise the square boxes to the wheelchair level.
- To suppress weeds easily, spread landscape cloth or newspapers on the ground.
- One can use trellis at northern ends of the squares to plant vines vertically.
So, sit, relax and enjoy fresh summer veggies, fruits and herbs in your own garden. Opt for this gardening technique to enjoy savory stuff without any back-breaking work.