Square foot gardening was the brainchild of Mel Bartholemew. It is a type of intensive gardening where it is believed that conventional home gardening with its wide rows of plans is a complete waste of time, energy and resources. Mel Bartholemew firmly believed that even more vegetables can be grown in lesser place as compared to conventional gardening.
In the method of square foot gardening the space is divided into equal beds of 4′ x 4′, 16 sq ft or 120cm x 120cm, 1.4m² gardens being recommended and separated by paths. The beds are further divided into smaller squares of 1 foot each and planted with vegetables. The most common setup for larger plants is one plant per square. The larger plants normally grown are broccoli, basil, etc. for medium-large plants like lettuce, the setup is four plants per square and for medium-sized plants like spinach, it is nine per square. For small plants like onions and carrots, it is sixteen plants per square. The beds are weeded and watered from the pathways so that the garden soil does not become compacted.
Let’s us delve further into the benefits of square foot gardening.
1) More Harvest in Less Space – This is the most common characteristic of square foot gardening. Square foot gardening removes all unwanted space and increases the harvest due to the rich soil mixture.
2) Lesser Work – Conventional gardening requires more effort and more tools in comparison to square foot gardening. In the case of square foot gardening, the soil is never compacted and the soil remains loose and loamy.
3) Savings in Water – Due to the particular nature of the soil and its water-holding capabilities, square foot gardening does not need frequent watering. Water is placed very close to the plants; as a result, water is saved.
4) Little Weeding – Due to close planting, the vegetables form a living mulch and shade out many weeds before they begin to grow.
5) No use of Pesticides/ Herbicides – Square foot gardening uses natural insect repellants like pest repelling plants to keep away the insects. One of the most common pests repelling plants is marigold. Also, a large variety of plants in a small space leads to lesser chances of plant diseases spreading to other plants.
6) Accessibility – Square foot gardening can be made accessible to elders also. For example, a plywood box can be attached to the bottom of the box and the box can be placed on a raised platform for the elderly people to use.
Keeping up Your Square Foot Garden
In a square foot garden, there is an accentuation on benefiting as much as possible from the time just as space. Uncovered soil is kept to a base and when one crop is reaped, another will have its spot. This serious utilization of the developing territory implies that it is indispensably critical to ensure that you renew the supplements that have been utilized and keep up the ripeness of your nursery.
Including manure, each time you collect a square, and including mulches of fertilizer or other natural materials between plants can ensure soil wellbeing is kept up after some time. You can likewise make natural fluid feeds from fertilizer, weeds and so forth to give hungry plants a lift without hurting untamed life or the planet.
Just as looking after fruitfulness, square-foot plant specialists should keep over weeds, weeding nearly nothing yet regularly, and water the raised beds well during any droughts. They should look out for irritations and ailment, and reap on a continuous premise all through the developing season.
Deal with your square foot nursery and it will keep on dealing with you, bolstering you and your family now and in the years to come.