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Square Foot Gardening: Growing More In Less Space

I live in the country, but planting a large plot of gardening land simply isn’t my thing- however I find myself wanting to grow as much as possible with the space I allowed myself to cultivate. Enter in the square foot gardening method where you can get “100% of the harvest, using just 20% of the space, and only 2% of the work”.

Needless to say, I’m all in.

In the 1970’s retired engineer Mel Bartholomew decided to “eliminate the inefficiencies he saw in traditional gardening” methods. Essentially he created a system to reduce the amount of time spent weeding, watering, and maintaining the garden for maximum yield. His books and television series quickly became popular and his ideas continue today through the Square Foot Gardening Foundation all over the world.

The concept is simple enough and is created using soil mix (Mel’s special mix) in raised beds with a one foot by one foot grid placed over the top to divide the different species and companion plants being used.

Furthermore, an online garden planner is available in order to see how much of each plant can be placed in each square, what your crop will yield, and when to plant according to seasons. This couldn’t be a simpler technique that anyone can accomplish with a day of simple design and layout.

Little did I know, but I inadvertently created a version of these beds last spring and applied these methods along with a simple watering technique. Not only have I had an excellent vegetable yield, I had little to no waste from each crop! I’m living proof – give this technique a try!

About The Author

Danielle McLeod

Danielle McLeod cuts a tragic figure in the High School English classroom teaching literature by day, and moonlighting as a writer and graphic artist by night. Published in a variety of travel magazines, and now a blog, Danielle enjoys coming up with home and garden projects to complete with her two young boys. A native of Michigan, she resides in Southeastern New Mexico with her variety of horses, poultry, and variable mix of rescue dogs (there’s a cat or two in there as well). In her free time she enjoys travel, art, photography, and a good book!


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