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My first Square Foot Garden

by Paul Van de Bussche Sr.
(Northwest Ohio, United States)

My first Square Foot Garden

My first Square Foot Garden

To anyone considering making a Square Foot Garden, do it. I built my first SFG in 2004. I had done some gardening before with mixed results but I always enjoyed it. There's just something about picking your own fresh produce that I love.

I moved my family to a nearby town into our first house. One of the things I liked about the property most was the large back yard. I had every intention of having a nice big garden. That plan was delayed for a few years as other projects seemed more important. Spring of 2004 is when the gardening bug hit me once again. Off I went to the local nursery with visions of my new beautiful garden in my head but only a few dollars in my pocket.

Although I hadn't been there for several years, the place seemed no different than I remembered. I headed straight for the greenhouse. Inside were the familiar rows upon rows of tiny plants all neatly lined up in their black plastic trays on waist high tables. I strolled up and down the isles enjoying the smells and colours of all the beautiful flowers and shrubs, but my plan was to start making purchases for my vegetable garden.

By now one of the attendants approached me and started inquiring as to what exactly I had in mind so she could assist me in making my selections. After a short quiz we headed inside the main building. This is where I was given my reality check. Being that she was local and obviously very knowledgeable of both gardening and the terrain, she knew I had a very rich but heavy clay soil.

She started pointing out various bags of soil amendments that would have to be tilled into the clay before I could ever hope to grow a decent garden. As the cost started adding up in my head my hope for my new garden started to fade.

I left the nursery empty handed but a little wiser. I had not considered the expense of simply preparing the grow bed. Purchasing the necessary equipment such as a rototiller was way out of my budget. I was not ready to give up the dream just yet so I headed to the library.

I didn't know exactly what I was looking for but I was sure I would recognize it once I found it. That's when I came across Mel Bartholomew's book about Square Foot Gardening. I had never heard of this before. After reading a few paragraphs, I knew I found the answer to my dilemma. It was almost too good to be true. I could have my garden without the need for heavy equipment and hours of tilling the soil.

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My first Square Foot Garden

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Feb 12, 2010
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Square foot Gardening is the way to go!
by: Rick

Thanks for the great Blog entry Paul! I've just finished reading Mel Bartholomews "All New Square Foot Gardening" and it's a real gem.
He's simplified some of the stuff from the older version of the book and he no longer uses feeds - just home made compost to add nutrition to the 'Mel's Mix' soil.
He also only makes the beds 6" deep nowadays. Less materials required & less cost - but still the same results. If he wants to grow long carrots or turnips etc, he just builds a 1 foos square box 12 inches deep and uses that.

I'll be doing my first SFG this year and hope to be featuring my progress on this website.
cheers
Rick

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