Why So square..
Square foot gardening. The art of growing a large amount of crops in a small space. This is one of my favourite ways to grow. Originally created by Mel Bartholomew, Square foot gardening is a method that allocates a set number of plants per square foot in a grid arrangement.
The idea is simple. To grow as much as you can in a small area. Benefits also include leaving little space for weeds to grow, which is always a benefit.
I must admit when I first discovered this method, I was a bit sceptical. The idea of growing a large amount of veg in a small area raised various questions for me. “How is this possible?”, “What if they done get enough nutrients?”
To understand how this can be implemented we first need to look at the reasons behind this. Mel came up with the idea in the 1970’s as a solution to creating a productive and easy to manage solution to growing. Tired of the traditional growing methods, the square foot method was a direct counter to highlight the inefficiencies.
This method quickly gained popularity as the ‘new’ and ‘upcoming’ way to grow and is still widely used today.
There are a few rules to follow, certain crops have a limited amount that can be planted in a group. Depending on what you want to plant, there can be as many as 16 plants in one square foot. That may seem a lot but rest assured it works.
There are various websites with chart layout, pre-plans etc but one of the most useful I have found is Gardeners They have a fantastic selection of pre-planned gardens, all of which are perfectly labelled and well thought out.
I would definitely recommend checking it out.
So what are the benefits?
One of the main benefits here is reduced use of water due to plants being in one concentrated area. Water saving can be taken to the next level by using drip irrigation if required.
Another great benefit is the ability to grow in a very limited space. This is perfect for any back garden or disused area of you allotment, so why not give it a go?
Behind every method lies a tried and tested way of doing it. But being me, I have combined two of the best methods I have used to create my own way of doing things. I use both the NoDig method & Square foot method to give me the best foundations for growing. I also use Interplanting to maximise the potential of each crop. The result, very vibrant plants with reduced pests. Win, Win!
Keep me up to date with all of your progress on @homegrownwxm