The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

Updated: Square Foot Gardening.....

We've talked a bit about square-foot gardening on this site.  Unlike most Amish homemakers which have tons of space to sprawl out their veggie patches us city-dwellers need to make the most of the little land we have.  One good way to do that is to take up "square foot gardening."  The method maximizes space and allows for low-maintenance, weed-free gardening.  The low maintenance part makes it very enjoyable, I can't wait to harvest bunches of great produce from our gardens this summer.   If you want to learn to garden this way, I highly recommend Mel Bartholomew's book "Square Foot Gardening."  Bartholomew is THE authority on this method of gardening and his book really walks you through it.  If you want to see what a square foot garden looks like, come along with me for a two-minute tour of mine.    I felt a little dopey doing the video because I think I had neighbors staring at me wondering who the heck I was talking to......

Re: Updated: Square Foot Gardening.....

 Nosy Neighbor  This is one of Kevin's neighbors watching him talking to himself while making his square foot gardening video!  Laughing

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LOL, yea, I have a neighbor that looks just like that actually....

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Probably the one who complained about the fence...

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Diann, that is hilarious!!!

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Do you call him "Wilson"?

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 Amazon is getting alot of business from me lately. I ordered all of the amish cook cookbooks from them now the square foot gardening book that you you mentioned . Maybe they can give you a kick back for all the business they are getting from all of us reading from on your site. Thanks ..... I think. I may have to give up some of my other bad habits to fund the new ones that I have gotten from your ideas. linda

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maybe we will try that next year, we always have a 30x30 foot garden and the weeding will just about kill us.....but the work is worth it with that first bite of a cucumber fresh off the vine, there is nothing better in the world, they are like candy compared to the ones you buy in the store.....Kevin, what is that pretty blue plant growing by the lettuce, the camera was a little blurry and I couldn't tell.......

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 ROTFL, Tom! 

TomK's picture

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EXCELLENT Diann! 

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Actually, you can do melons.  They follow Mel's method of training them upward on the upright grid.  It takes a little more work, as you have to take care to create "slings" for the fruits as they appear, but that can be as easy as cutting pieces of pantihose and tying them to the grid. 

Also wanted to note for those of you looking at your local library...  Our library here only has Mel's original version of his square-foot gardening book (which I believe was printed in the late 70s or early 80s).  He printed a revised version only two or three years ago that simplifies the method much further.  :o)  Great for getting started late in the season...  (Like me!)

Thanks for the tour, Kevin!  What does Lovina think of your SFG?? 

Rebecca

paulaayn's picture

Re: Updated: Square Foot Gardening.....

Growning "viney" things vertically is an old Victorian method.  Back in the days of walled kitchen gardens and greenhouses, Victorian gardeners were experts at making things grow.  Check out the book "The Victorian Kitchen Garden" by Jennifer Davies.  It has a great picture from 1880 of a greenhouse full of hanging melons!

I've grown cucumbers vertically before.  They turn out nice and straight.  Great for slicing and pickling.

BTW, when looking for the US link for the book I notcied they have the SFG book on sale today.

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I tried to explain it to her, but I'm not sure it really explained it well....I need to show her photos...

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You'll have to let us know!  I'm looking forward to seeing pics as your garden progresses!

Rebecca

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 Kevin,

thanks for sharing the video. I want to see if  a book store has the book you are referrring to so I can have a copy. If it is less work the better and watering . Do you have plans of setting out tomatoes and will they be caged ? what about  cucumbers do they work in this type of contained gardening?  Keep us all updated as the season goes along. linda

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Yes, we have squares set aside for tomatoes and cucumbers....you can do almost anything in the square foot gardens, except maybe melons since they sprawl out so much...

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First off all, thanks for the glimpse of the controversial fence!  LOL  It looks very nice :-)  I don't suppose your neighbors think you are too crazy, considering SOMEONE must have been behind the camera.  Sounded like a firecracker went off in the background...very common noise around here, where the fireworks stands are open year-round.

I will check to see if our library has a copy of that book.  Won't be able to this year, but maybe next if my husband can get a decent spot set up for it.

Re: Square Foot Gardening.....

I just put in my garden this past Monday! I am so excited being I haven't had one since the babies were born. I have a 12x20 and I wasn't able to put everything I wanted, so I think I will see if my library has it too. Maybe I can get new ideas for next year. I really would like to have stawberries, so maybe this will give me an idea where to find some space in my yard!

Re: Square Foot Gardening.....

Kevin, both links are the same.

TomK's picture

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That happens to people like him, Diann,  he's out walking around in a 4 foot square box talking to himself!    ROFLOL Laughing

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Good one Tom - and he's feverish besides.Smile

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I feel some back aches coming on Monday.  I have a garden spot, framed by railroad ties that is approx. 6 ft. x 12 ft.  I can get alot of veggies in that space and then I have a bell pepper plant and zucchini in my perennial garden.  The weather will be perfect here in the Northwest for gardening...at least for the next two days!

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On Monday, we can compare muscle aches!!

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Just remember - bend the knees and take breaks!

TomK's picture

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I've been doing this type gardening for years and this year they have gotten to where I had to redo the boxes and put in new wood frames and soil/peat, etc...

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I have a copy of the book!  I went out and reserved one from the library after we were talking about the topic.  We are going to prepare the garden beds this weekend, I'll be taking photos and will probably do a post on it next week!