Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I'm going to garden this year

I'm halfway through reading an amazingly simple book about gardening. Its not a new concept and has been around for quite a long time but I went to a small farm/large garden in the fall and saw the concept in real life and was amazed at the amount of food that was produced in such a small space. Welcome to Square Foot Gardening. You could do it on your patio, in your small yard, up high for the elderly or however you want. The concept is that you make your own box (only 6" for non-rooted plants and 12" for root plants) and you mix your own dirt (don't use your dirt from your yard) so that you don't have weeds and you have 80% less area that produces the same yield of crop.

So, whats your excuse? Here's why I'm doing it:

1) This year is a drought year and it uses less water than a conventional garden because its compacted into a smaller space and the dirt is designed to hold water in instead of leak into the ground.
2) Its portable....at least the one I'm building will be. So when we move, I can take it with me and I don't have to leave my garden ever again!
3) I want to be self sufficient
4) No fertilizers needed with this soil mix so it is completely organic!
5) No more trips to the grocery store for veggies!
6) My family eats healthier when we grow our own....its fun to eat food you've been anticipating!

and many more reasons. I think my main reason though is:

7) Dominic misses having a garden and always talks about the garden we had in Utah. It was a great family experience for us (except the pumpkins and watermelon overtaking the grass...which SFG has fixed also...did you know you can grow pumpkins and watermelons up instead of out?)

So, I'm starting with one 4' x 4' box. Thats it! I got the wood for free by asking for it on www.freecycle.org and all I have to buy is the dirt and seeds. I have enough to make 2 boxes but I'm starting with one to see how much it produces so I dont' overburden myself with too many veggies (lol...can you do that?).

So if this piques your interest at all.......go check out the book from your library or get it on amazon for under $16. We all need to know how to grow our own food, you don't need to love it...but at least learn how.

Yay for gardens!


Jenny said...

We bought the book several years ago and have been doing the sqarefoot garden since we have been in med school. It is great. As you can tell from the blog ours are on horses because I have a bad back.

Julia Harps said...

I'm thinking about it. It really sounds cool. I was just thinking toady how I would love at least my own herb garden.

Unknown said...

How has it been working for you Jenny?

Merilee said...

Hey Katie,
I think this is a great idea. I am really wanting to do a garden this year too. Thanks for the great info. I will be checking out that book!

Nataliehlambert said...

I think that is what I need here in Massachusetts. Everything grows like weeds, especially the weeds that if you plant a garden in the ground you end up growing.... WEEDS. Thanks for the Idea. I think I will look to see if the book is at our library. So fun to see your family grow!

LeMira said...

This is a great book that I can't wait to read. Since we are moving into a place with not quite the garden space as we've had here, and it's hard to have a big space -- so much work for just me- this book looks like a perfect solution for me.

rachel lee said...

Im going to do this! I have always wanted a garden...

Jenny said...

We love it! Works great. You have to keep in mind where you put it so it can get enough sun. Also be aware of when it gets hot because certain veggies are best planted at certain times of the year. We haven't had a bad year yet with it.

We have never had to pull any weeds either! BONUS!


(if you go to my archives for February of 2008 and span down it shows our set up on our back deck.)

The fun thing is to watch how huge the veggies get in just a matter of days.
We plant sugar snaps, cucumbers, carrots, spinach, green beans, tomatoes (cherry, roma, and regular), bell peppers and melons. We just plant what we like. A lot of our friends also plant herbs, but I think it wastes space. That is something that you can plant in little pots. We are going to do 2 this year.