What is Square Foot Gardening?
Simply put, planting vegetables in an area that consists of one square foot. Nope, it's not a Tiny Tim garden or one for munchkins, but instead one of many gardening methods to grow vegetables.
One can just as easily have a successful vegetable crop by planting in the ground (if you have good fertile soil), planting in a raised bed garden, or a container vegetable garden, that is to say using containers or garden pots to grow vegetables.
Lack of Garden Space
Not all vegetable gardeners have a large area in their back yard to grow vegetables. And, even those gardeners that do may have physical limitations that prevent them from bending, digging, or they may find traditional vegetable gardening over powering.
You Only Need Hand Tools
Because each vegetable garden plot is only one square foot, a hand spade or trowel is all that is required to till your soil, fertilize, and plant your vegetable seeds.
Because of the close planting of vegetables, there is little if any room for weed seeds to germinate and grow. From time to time, I have noticed the odd weed beginning to poke up from the soil. When this happens, I simply remove the weed with my fingers instead of having to reach for a chemical weed killer.
For those of you who grow from seeds using a seed starter kit, you know that very little water is required to water your seeds. The same holds true with square foot gardening.
Instead of using a hose as you would for row gardening, because the vegetable plots are only one square foot, you only need to use a hand water container with a sprout.
Much Less Work
The volume of soil is within a one square foot area requiring little tilling or weeding and can be mixed with fertilizer with ease in a matter of minutes.
Covers and Cages
During pest season or when the sun in some planting zones is so hot and threaten your vegetable crops, the use of covers or cages can be used with very little work or effort.
You can build a square foot garden just about anywhere.
If you live in an apartment and have a balcony with limited space, and receive at least six hours of sunlight, you should have no problem growing vegetables using this method of gardening.
If you have a knee or back problem, or use a wheelchair, a square foot garden can be constructed on a table at a height that is comfortable for you to garden.
If this method of gardening sounds appealing, give it a try. Start out small and expand its size whenever it suits you.
If you are a little adventurous, you can also include a container vegetable garden with your sq. foot garden.
Have a little fun and experiment with various methods of growing vegetables, and enjoy your growing season.
As an added resource you may want to read this article on sq. ft. gardening from Chester Township.org
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