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Square Foot Gardening*
*Square Foot Gardening is a registered trademarked name by Mel Bartholomew, originator and author.
Contribution from Dell Purdie of New Zealand
You may know of this space and labour saving method of vegetable gardening, known as Square-foot gardening.
Plants are planted in areas of one square foot in beds of any length but only four feet wide. The reason for this is, that there is no need to tread on the bed and hence to have to dig again after it is originally made, as it can be reached from either side.
Plants are planted in small quantities at frequent intervals so not all produce is coming on at once but rather spread over the whole season as required.
For example in conventional gardening, a row of lettuce may be planted with say 20 plants, too many to use in the time span, where as 4 lettuce would be planted in a square foot plot and a couple of weeks later another plot planted giving a staggered maturity time.
Further, when the first square foot plot is empty, something else can be sown immediately so there is no delay until the row is free for use again.
There are no spaces between rows as is the convention, so the garden can be as little as 20% of the normal garden and yet still as productive, if not more so.
Number of plants per sq.ft.:
Many other plants can also be grown, it is up to the imagination of the grower.
Small netting mesh cloches can be used to keep pests and pets off seeds etc., too.
Mr. Mel Bartholomew, President and Founder of the Square Foot Gardening Foundation, says that this style of gardening can benefit so many different people, from introducing children to the pleasure of gardening to helping people around the globe become self-sufficient.
The main benefits are -
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