Drainage was not a problem, but moisture retention was. His biological ionization hypothesis has been completely discredited, a long time ago. Yes, it is fun to grow more on less dirt, avoid weeding, and intercrop like a jigsaw puzzle, but how good is SFG? That is how they get a suggestion of 144 radishes per square foot. This also makes a room feel larger if there is a quiet space in any one direction. I guess what I am asking is what is it that you find worth recommending from this site? I followed Mel’s advice, and ten years later I still believe square-foot gardening is the best way to get started and have a thriving home garden. The growth looks healthy and vigorous. I do use foliar feeds at the recommended temperature at half strength. Last year I had tomato plants in both dirt and mix beds. eswar, that is one jam packed website. What I am looking to find, is REASON ENOUGH for me to want to try SFG. While I agree with using rock dust for long term soil amendment, I also think that the newer brewed compost teas are very healthy for plants. Am I missing something? So I planted, and did enjoy a few refreshing snow peas and some early bush beans. You can build raised beds and place them in the sunniest areas in your yard, or build planter boxes that can be placed on your back porch or balcony. Some may not use the recommended 1/3rd vermiculite. To get a lot out of very little space requires no short cuts when it comes to soil quality and fertility. The news letters give good explanation of the principles.It is not expensive.I do not use any designerÂs fertilizers.I use common things like molasses, compost, High calcium lime, soft rock phosphate, fish emulsion,calcium nitrate, sea weed and few foliar fertilizers.Since these are geared towards farmers, I do not post about them.For my 60th birthday some one gave me a Digital camera as a gift. Also, thank you for the heads up on the book availability in March. Mel Bartholomew, construction engineer and efficiency expert, is considered the father of square foot gardening. You really need to get bids from local contractors because so much can go into it. I guess I had forgotten about those items and only remembered the deeper beds part. In particular vining plants did not do as well. Pick smaller crops and plant away in halves! I'm lucky in that my beds went in over heavy clay on a slope, and forking down amendments another foot-18" on top of that gives me excellent water holding capacity and a large soil volume, altho my bed is behind Allan Block and the soil temperature needs active management. I read that 6 to 8 times per season is the best frequency for foliar feeding. It would seem the concepts of SFG are more easily understood than the concepts of biointensive sustainable gardening. Share photos of your 150- to 200-square-foot kitchen! Cheers in advance for any comments, and my apologies if this isn't the appropriate section for this question. I might even consider a shade cloth for the end of season hot days. Compared the the traditional rows I have always used, the square foot method allowed me to grow more plants in less space. Neither of which have as good of results as open ground growers. Popularized by retired engineer-efficiency expert Mel Bartholomew, square-foot gardening allows you to get a high yield from a small area—a win-win situation for beginning gardeners and experienced ones alike.It’s especially beneficial to gardeners who don’t have much time or yard space. However, I don't think the consenses here approves of it. For large plants, 4 per square is adequate planting space. I made this bed when I realized the garlic in my 2 3'x4' beds were going to take longer than originally planned. Since, I would not use organic fertilzer this time around, a plastic mulch might be used. You might say, "What about when the radishes get larger?" The other thing that eswar and squareftgardener have me considering is bed size. As for availability of compost, I find that while flash garden centers surprisingly don't always have a good range, they are out there if I look, sometimes in odd places (my local source is a tropical fish shop which sells about 3 potted plants and a huge range of composted manures!!). I grew up with a hoe in my hand but not any more. I should have known that the square, the grid, and the angles would appeal to an engineer like alexjh. He claimed to have cured cancer in over 10,000 patients in a single year (that breaks down to 27 patients per day). 19.7 C.E.C. But that is the first thing to ask - are there requirements that the building sit off the property line a prescribed amount or can you build right to the line? This fall I will be amending the soil with a good pile of composted manure to bring up the quality, and hopefully help with some of the deficiencies I saw. And for the same reason, if we are not planting legumes and practicing the kind of rotation he recommends, we may not be getting the results? French Intensive Gardening seems to differ from SFG in two primary ways to me. I’d love to hear from you. Even if you only have a balcony, get some containers, and plant The nice thing about raised planters is they make gardening accessible to anyone, and turn unused concrete into growing room. This is really only of importance early in the growing season if you are sowing seeds or extremely young transplants without a good root system. I am still working on improving my garden and expect the soil to be in even better shape since this old test. If you are combining eco-farming with square foot gardening, then I am most curious about your results. Moved to a smaller home 4 years ago. You can widen the stair to 5' and do a small powder room under the upper part of the stair if you need a guest restroom on the first level. Well, this method didn't claim it was for The Archer Daniels Midlands Group. Concerning Dr. William Albrecht, Ph.D, I was more interested in his soil sample and analysis recommendations than his philosophies. Constructive Criticism welcome! It is easy for me to reach.Semi retired 65 years.Smaller home- Smaller yard. Just afraid of getting lots of weeds again! I was intending on putting a layer of river stone on the bottom with the soil on top, but will I need to cut drainage holes in the base of the sides of the box (to be made with composite wood boards, so rot isn't an issue) I was also considering using drip irrigation for watering. Square foot gardening seems to work everywhere, even on your backyard or patio. For medium sized crops (9 per square), take your pointer and pinkie fingers and draw two lines horizontally which divides the square into thirds. 100 plants of carrots per square foot?! deep_roots, SFG appeals to me because I'm an engineer, I like the structure of it. This is divided into 1-foot squares, giving 16 square feet in total. What it really comes down to is that if something works for you then go with it. If I could suggest anything, it would be to make your growing beds deeper. After many years of row crop gardening, I have given up on that system. Say hello to a newer and easier type of gardening. Online. Regarding the common 6" SFG bed depth, tomato growers who grow in deeper 5 gallon buckets often have better results, with those growing in 15 to 20 gallon containers having even better results. There are a lot of results to share, however here a few points. Then draw two lines in the opposite direction so that you have nine sections. In order to make growing a garden easier, we have put together a plant spacing chart to help you. If the typical SFG bed is 4' by 4', then maybe an online source of revised planting arrangements could be made. The effects are long lasting. A large release followed by smaller levels of available fertilizer is seemingly what happens. Square foot gardening is a simple method of creating small, orderly, and productive kitchen vegetable gardens. With unpruned tomato plants, production was around 19.6 pounds per plant". I have never seen so many different gardening gadgets in one yard before. It is expensive and not easily available in 4 cubit foot bags every where.Adding compost from 5 different sources may be difficult for some living in rural areas. I use a 5 gallon buckets and a bamboo stick for stirring.Worms way sells good aerators for 17 dollars.The essence of what you are doing is bringing the soil to balance. I learnt this first from a Japanese lady 75 year young, who actively gardens. While I currently have Mel's mix and lumber to create a 4 foot by 4 foot by 1 foot deep SFG for summer 2009, I have used a 2.5 foot by 12 foot by 1 foot bed over the past two years. It is available in 2 grades. There's no way you could keep up with a true SFG if you're a single row gardener. The square yard garden is divided into a size and shape that gardeners of all ages, sizes and levels of experience can … He seems to believe that calcium should be used in incredibly large amounts for people and plants. suggestions on what to put under my bed if building over previous garden? I think Square Foot Gardening is French intensive goes modern, but at the same time there are elements of Square Foot Gardening that I think many would do well to experiment with to see what works best. I agree with adding soil amendments, growing cover crops, building bacteria, feeding microbes, and innoculating with mychorizza fungi. With the plants unwilling to send roots deep into the less desirable soil under the bed, they were more susceptable to water stress too. If Mel"s mix is expensive one can use AlÂs container mix, but still you need vermiculite, but slightly lesser quantity. Square Foot Gardening makes season extension simpler, as it’s much easier to cover a 4×4 bed with a canopy or make a cold frame than it is to cover a large garden bed. Square foot garden efficiently addresses the optimal utilization of the space available with ease and without lot of labor.The wooden grid some may call it as a gimmick and an ornament over planting area, but it gives an idea which can be improvised upon as the situation demands. Awesome, do it. Join. It discusses freely how to change/switch from growth phase to flowering and fruiting phase. This in no way discounts SFG. While I have not applied the 100% SFG technique, I am learning much about SFG in this post. I want everything to be organic and heard landscaping fabric is not. Have some 6″ wide eaves? The result is separate rooms with an open-plan feeling, Got a sunny 4-by-4 space? Those gardens will under perform, predictably. Square Foot Gardening. The Sea Kelp that you use, also contains a plant growth stimulant. Square Foot Gardening TM, developed by Mel Bartholomew, is a special type of raised-bed gardening. SFG makes people think that an equation can be applied to gardening to come out with an 'A' grade garden. On page 3 of that link in table 2, it gives spacing for Band Planting in Approximate number of plants per square foot. ", Four of the best reasons for SFG. This is NOT a criticism of anyone who follows SFG techniques. If the dirt looks alive, then I am happy. This one foot outside / planted in something vertical / columnar or with a metal laser cut privacy screen can make the entire house feel larger due to the light and green just outside . I packed in: 2 tomatoes, 2 eggplant, 5 peppers, marigold, snapdragons, flat and curly parsley, basil and oregano. No longer are you guessing spacing and pulling entire sections of seedlings you will waste. But I do add my own fertilizer and supplement with foliar feeding when necessary. My summer 2009 plans are to put out a new SFG in traditional 4' x 4' x 12" layout and apply some tweaks to see if I can improve on prior years results. I think that SFG is not as effective as some would wish. Visit my website. I found myself adding tremendous amounts of peat moss the year after my first trial in attempts to keep more moisture in the soil. I had a garden for years but not the last two, due to low plant production. I'll be sure to put it to good use. I moved the fridge away from the doorway to the far side of the sink. Never cut a sucker and they were at leats 8 feet tall. No Work!' Doesn't that demonstrate the benefits of SFQ? I understand what you are saying and your link has excellent and useful info. Personally, I don't like to squint that hard when planting seeds. Imagine 14.5 x 17.5 is your living space to the right and the remaining 8 x 17.5 houses an 8 x 9.5 galley kitchen at back left (plus understair storage - run this into the under stair area) and the dining is in the front left with windows above that built in banquette seating around a table would feellarger than the actual 8 x 8 . It’s also a handy solution for gardeners with limited room to grow, since the intensive … The Japanese add rice bran sauce for fermentation. The SFG book recommends adding a good dollop of compost every time a plant is removed, but perhaps we don't do that when we're not really thinking about autumn planting? One of my biggest reservations about SFG is the late summer to end of season appearance of many SFG gardens. Had an acre and half garden before. It is sold out, but expected to be available in the third week of March.It is a technical book. That is all to it. I am getting slowly out of containers to square foot gardening and self watering troughs.Experimenting is fun part of gardening. Last summer, before getting the winter greenhouse ready, we finished landscaping the yard into my new summer happy-place. Besides the apartment dwellers, there are disabled and older people or just plain people that can see SFG as something they can do. Tomatoes and summer squash did quite well and were the best performers. You just need is an area that measures 4 feet x 4 feet area or even larger than this. worth it along the public street or alley. The first book I purchased about gardening in early eighties is by John jeevons"how to grow more vegetables"I hired some one to double dig due to lack of time added faithfully Soft Rock phosphate, high calcium lime, green sand, kelp Etc.Now due to age factors I wonÂt do it again. I added several decomposed straw bales one year and a six inch layer of composted manure another year. It's easy to remember, and it's a good basis for actually getting started, and that's the beginning of learning! Quick! Secondarily, SFG seems more focused on a man made system of neat looking wooden squares and hardware where planting is thought of in one foot squares versus looking at the typical 4 foot by 4 foot bed as a ecological system. This apparently gave more oxygen across the surface of the solution than would be introduced by an air pump directly into the bucket. Also, do you think deeper incorporation will give you more soil volume and thus more soil water? 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