Thursday, February 10, 2011

My All-New Square Foot Gardening Dream

I am half-way through the book, The All-New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More In Less Space by Mel Bartholomew.  I have been savouring every page and nurturing the dream that I finally have the formula for the perfect organic veggie growing.

And yesterday I made my first purchase towards my dream: a 4 cubic foot bag of vermiculite.  That sounds pretty trite, I know, but I did a search online and it seems that vermiculite, one of the three items that are absolute "musts" for the soil that Bartholomew advises you "make" as the perfect formula, is hard-to-find... or at least the 4 cubic foot bags are hard to come by.  So now, being who I am, I want to buy about ten bags of vermiculite in case there is a gardening-time shortage.  That would cost me around $400.  I don't think my husband would be entirely supportive of such a move.  But here's the thing: once you mix up the perfect formula (vermiculite, peat moss and a blend of 5 different composts) all you ever have to replace, from here on in, is the compost!  And you do that by putting in another scoop when you remove a retired plant!  Wow!  It's like a solar-paneled roof-- once you make the expensive initial outlay, you're done!

The next goal is to get the boards together in the 4 X 4 design.  I think we might actually have some boards that will fit that plan out in the garage, which is a nice little saving.  I need to locate exactly where I want the board-constructed boxes to be and then put a weed-prevention sheets over the ground (I'm using cardboard).  Next comes the mixing and laying of the soil, and then the grids and any other supporting stuff gets added in/on.  I actually already have a box done up and that I grew veggies and cilantro in last season, but I was just flying by the seat of my pants and didn't realize about the 'perfect soil' and other things.. so it was fairly productive (just using soil and compost), but I am going to dig it out and put in the new soil-- start over, so to speak.  I will have to put cardboard on the base of that as well, since there seems to be an outbreak of some unidentified weed all over the yard, and it is in that box.

So I will keep you posted!  Maybe I will even vlog or at least put up a few youtube vids.  We'll see.  In any case, the idea of a square-foot garden really appeals to me, the free-flowing, disorganized person who sometimes just wants nothing better than to be organized by a neat freak!

Here are some other links to Square Foot Gardening:
Our Food Matters-- Join a Social Network to Match Your Own Social Ethics and Wisdom

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