Square Foot Gardening is a method of growing plants in a compact and efficient manner, using raised beds and dividing the growing area into small squares, hence the name "Square Foot Gardening". This method was developed by Mel Bartholomew in the 1970s and has since gained popularity among gardeners and urban farmers.
The basic idea behind Square Foot Gardening is to create a raised bed that is divided into small squares, each measuring one square foot. Each square is then used to grow a specific plant or group of plants. This approach allows for the efficient use of space and helps to prevent soil compaction, making it an ideal method for urban gardeners who may not have a lot of space.
To get started with Square Foot Gardening, you'll need to build a raised bed, which can be made of a variety of materials such as wood, concrete blocks, or bricks. Once you have your raised bed in place, you'll need to prepare the soil by adding compost, vermiculite, and peat moss. This combination of materials will provide the plants with a rich, fertile growing environment.
Next, you'll need to divide your raised bed into one-square-foot sections using a grid system. You'll then plant seeds or seedlings in the squares, taking into account the amount of space each plant needs to grow. For example, one square might contain one large plant, such as a tomato plant, or several smaller plants, such as herbs or lettuce.
One of the benefits of Square Foot Gardening is that it allows for easy access to the plants, making it easier to care for them. Weeding and watering are much simpler because you don't have to bend down as far and can get to the plants more easily. This method also helps to reduce the amount of water needed, as the compact space helps to retain moisture in the soil.
Square Foot Gardening is an effective and efficient method of growing plants, especially for those who have limited space. It's a great way to grow a variety of fresh produce, from vegetables to herbs, and provides a fun and rewarding gardening experience. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, Square Foot Gardening is a great method to consider.