My mom told me about a seminar at a local nursery (Plantscape Nursery, Herrin, IL) that was teaching how to start a square foot garden. I was intrigued. I listened as they spoke about the benefits and it sounded almost too good to be true.
Curious for more information, I purchased the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.
Mel’s revolutionary way to grow more in less space sounded perfect. Plus his innovative grid-based method not only produces more in less space & it requires less work!
Square foot gardening requires two key components: raised boxes and a special soil mix that is three equal parts compost, vermiculite and peat moss.
If you are a DIYer you can build the garden boxes yourself, however, I am not! I bought mine from Wayfair and Home Depot and they required very minimal assembly without tools.
I purchased the soil from a local nursery with his exact specifications: 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 compost and 1/3 peat moss. I thoroughly mixed all three together and added them to the assembled box.
Last year was the first year to try this method and I was very pleased with the results! I hardly had to weed the garden and the I never had to fertilize either. The soil was amazing! The only negative was that I planted too much in the box! I will try to space them out better this year. (I forgot how large zucchini plants can grow!) I still fought the stink bugs, but I did not have any caterpillars so that was an improvement!
This year I am adding two more boxes. I kept enough space in between each box so that I can walk around all four sides. I am going to mulch around all them for easy maintenance and I will keep a chicken wire fence around the entire garden area to keep the wildlife out.
I planted a spring garden in early April with red romaine lettuce, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and spinach. Over Mother’s Day weekend I added a variety of tomatoes, romaine lettuce, assorted peppers and celery. I still need to plant my zucchini. When my lettuce is finished I will be adding green beans to the mix, too.
All I need now are warmer temperatures because it’s been a chilly May and my tomato plants are not enjoying the cold nights. How about you? Did you plant a garden this year? What are your favorites?