Sunday, October 10, 2010

Squarefoot contemplation

As I mentioned before I've come to thinking about moving the veggie plot from the current location to the back yard. According to the Square Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew, he posits you can grow the same amout of produce in 20% of the space of a traditional row garden.

The plan of the veggie plot was this:

By this reasoning, 15' x 3' rows x 7  = 315 Square feet * .20 = 63 square feet. 
from 315 square feet down to 63? I find that amazing! I can fit that in the backyard without much modifcation.

The kitchen garden measures 4x7 and is two layers deep.

If I separate the halves and reorient them north/south that would provide 56 square feet without much effort. Another 4x4 box would bring it up to 72 square feet, allegedly more than enough to replace all this:

I won't break down the kitchen garden until after the lettuce harvest. Stay tuned!

Until next time, Keep Digging and Eat Well!

The Gastronomic Gardener
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  1. VERY interesting! Keep us posted!

  2. Thx aflowergal - the construction will be this autumn, the test next year.

  3. According to Mel, I don't have a square-foot garden because I don't use grids. Still, I can vouch for the fact that we can grow alot more produce than we realize in a lot less space than we think. Our two small raised provide most of our vegetables during the season and we preserve a startling amount for winter use too. And, now we are even using some of the veggies to feed our dog. (He's always enjoyed snacks from the garden, but now he gets a cup of raw garden veggies every day.)

    A few keys are a good plan, fabulous soil, intensive planting, and rotating 'crops' throughout the season.

    (oh yeah, and we don't even have full sun.)

  4. Hi Garden Girl! Mel is pretty specific about what he calls SFG, but then again it is his system... But whatever you call it, it seems to be very efficient. How big are your beds?

    Thanks for chiming in!

  5. I had (and still have) a 4X4 Square Foot Garden for the past few years. Since then, I expanded my beds and now have 17 with the old SFG in one of them. (This year I mainly used it for herbs, as a "nursery" for things I would transplant later, and for different varieties of onions, plus one random tomato.) My big beds look very similar to yours, except they're about 4' wide, and maybe only 2' paths. I like the idea of intensive planting. And although I've gone back to rows, I do incorporate what I remember about the SFG spacing. So my rows are inches apart instead of feet apart. Because I'm trying to grow my own food, I'd rather use the big beds. Two benefits that come to mind, besides having more space, are the ability to rotate crops a meaningful distance from where they were the season before, and the ability to do companion planting. One problem I had with my SFG was that some things got really tall and blocked the sun from the shorter plants. But it did look nice early in the season, and I recommend the idea for anyone who doesn't have a lot of space. It could even be done on pavement or on a table top.


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