Square foot gardening

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Square foot gardening is a type of gardening made popular by Mel Bartholemew. It is based on the idea that the wide rows in traditional gardening are a waste of time, work, water and area. It shows that quality vegetables can be grown in less space with less work. In this method, the garden space is divided into "bed"s. Each bed is 4' x 4' (16 sq ft) (120 cm x 120 cm, 1.4m²). The beds are separated by paths. These beds are further divided into squares of about one square foot. Common spacing is one plant per square for larger plants such as broccoli and basil, four per square for medium large plants like lettuce, nine per square for medium -small plants like spinach, and sixteen per square for small plants such as onions and carrots. The weeds are removed from the beds and the plants are watered from the pathways. This stops the soil from being compacted.

Benefits of square foot gardening[change | change source]

  • Much less work. Normal gardening needs heavy tools to loosen the soil. In this method, the soil is never compacted and it remains loose. Weeding takes much less time.
  • Water Savings . The loose ground holds the water better. This type of garden needs water less often than other methods . Also, water is placed very near the plant roots. Less water is wasted.
  • Very little weeding. The vegetables form a living mulch and shade out many weeds before they can start to grow.
  • Pesticide / Herbicide are not needed. Natural ways to keep insect away like companion planting (i.e. planting marigolds or other naturally pest - repelling plants) work very well in a close space. Many different types of plants in a small area also stops plant diseases from spreading easily.

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