As I have been enjoying browsing through all of my seed catalogs I am really getting the garden itch! Mind you, it is mid January and we have been seeing those “it feels like -9°” temperatures this month. Think frozen water troughs and bundling up to go out hand milk my cow. I’m not complaining at all, I’m simply dreaming of spring. More specifically, I am dreaming of a green garden. A far picture from a white Christmas, huh?
Last year we began to implement the square foot gardening method. It worked out quite well and we plan to continue with it this year. It is a great way for anyone to be able to grow quite a bit of food in a small space. We are fortunate to have a fairly large garden area but we have a lot of mouths to feed and also try to preserve enough for the year.
I really like the square foot gardening method. Here are some of my favorite aspects.
1- Spacing. The required space per plant enables you to grow much more than following a tradition spacing method. I was unsure at first about it and worried that things would be crowded but it turned out great.
2- Less weeds. Can I get an Amen? Less weeds equals less work. That is a win in my book!
3- Easier to water. With each bed and each plant being so defined it is much easier to water properly. No wasted water, no under-watering, no over-watering. Just right every time.
4- Defined spaces and paths. With having little children running around in the garden it is quite a challenge to keep them from running through rows and stepping on plants. With the raised beds and paths between them, the Farm Kids have an obvious path and we have many less vegetable casualties now.
5- Managing each bed. We can easily manage each bed as needed. We can add compost, mulch, till it, whatever that particular bed needs can easily be addressed.
We will be ordering our seeds soon and starting some plants indoors before too much longer. I am getting really excited about this year’s garden. I can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt. Once it warms up that is.
I asked some of my homestead blogging friends about their experiences with square foot gardening. This is what I learned from them:
Square Foot Gardening: Growing Big in Small Spaces by Survival at Home
Square Foot Garden: A Quick & Easy Way to Begin a Garden by Grow a Good Life
How to Build a Square Foot Garden by Grow a Good Life
Creating a Box Journal For Your Square Foot Garden by Imperfectly Happy
Building Square Foot Boxes by Imperfectly Happy
Garden Planning: The Square Foot Method by Backyard Roots
If you want to start gardening but feel overwhelmed or don’t think you have the space to do it, I encourage you to explore this method. It really is a wonderful way to supply your own food. You can start by reading the links above and also check out “All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space” by Mel Bartholomew. He is the inventor of this method and I have learned so much from his book. It is also full of illustrations and fantastic growing charts.
Are you dreaming of spring and bountiful gardens too?