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Anyone use Sq. Ft. Gardening in life science


Laurie in VA
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For two years now I have been thinking about trying square foot gardening (Mel Bartholomew). I know my DDs would love it and think that it is time to give it a try, now that they are a bit older. We are about to finish animals in life science and will be ready to start plants in two weeks, so now would be the perfect time to give it a try.

 

I'm curious to see who has tried this method and how it has worked for you. Any tips / tricks? I have the '05 edition and will be re-reading over the next few days, but am apprehensive. I know nothing about planting or gardening. I am the type who knows a few basic flowers and plants and that's it!

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I planted my seeds two weeks ago, so I don't have any feed back for you yet! I have three 4x4 squares. I planted corn, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, pole and bush beans, cilantro, basil, carrots, and a bell pepper. This weekend, I will plant more squares, so I will have a staggered harvest.

 

The book gives you all you need to know, and there is a website with much of the same information.

 

My DS has absolutely no interest in gardening, but for a child that is interested, you could make it a very fun project.

Michelle T

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TY, Michelle! My DDs are very interested and I hope we are no too late if we start in April. Tell me - did you use Bartholomew's recipe for "perfect soil", or just buy some from the store? I am so not a gardener - I have no idea about pH or compost or any of that stuff! All I know is that my DDs would love to garden. My oldest is growing a sunflower in a plastic cup (they did it in Sunday School a week ago) and is just thrilled at the little sprout - I can only imagine how she would react to a 4 x 4 garden!!!

 

Also, did you build your own box or order from the site? I was going to order from the site unless it's markedly cheaper to make it on your own.

 

Thanks!

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Hi..just thought I'd add my two cents worth.

 

We did some sq foot gardening last year. We made our own, and I used a good soil mixture altho not according to the book. It's very simple. If you plant some easy stuff you can hardly go wrong. That is unless your cats used it for a litter box, which happened to us. Back to the drawing board. BUT...we had fun, learned alot, watched the flowers and squash grow!

 

You don't have to have a green thumb to do this. I kill ALL indoor plants and don't have a lot of time to weed or care for a garden. We did two four by four plots and it was TOO much for me to really care for. I need to have more time to devote to gardening and then I'll be okay!

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I gave my dh the book for Christmas, and we will be planting two boxes in the coming weeks. He bought new wood for one box in which we will plants vegetables. For the flower box, he obtained some wood from the local dump, as Mel suggests in the book.

 

The plants are in their transitional home on our patio right now. We plan to use Mel's mix when we plant them.

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Yes, we are getting ready to build some new boxes and expand the garden. We planed it together and will let the girls have areas of their own. Our plan is to have them help all the way through from planting to weeding to harvest and even preservation.

 

With the economy going down the tubes I am bringing back canning and freezing. I hope to have my girls involved in some of this process and it will be a fun science/homemaking exerience for all of us.:)

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TY, Michelle! My DDs are very interested and I hope we are no too late if we start in April. Tell me - did you use Bartholomew's recipe for "perfect soil", or just buy some from the store? I am so not a gardener - I have no idea about pH or compost or any of that stuff! All I know is that my DDs would love to garden. My oldest is growing a sunflower in a plastic cup (they did it in Sunday School a week ago) and is just thrilled at the little sprout - I can only imagine how she would react to a 4 x 4 garden!!!

 

Also, did you build your own box or order from the site? I was going to order from the site unless it's markedly cheaper to make it on your own.

 

Thanks!

 

 

We spent a fortune, and bought tons of bags of potting soil from OSH. It would have been much cheaper to have purchased potting soil from a landscape company that would have brought the soil, dumped it in our driveway, then wheelbarrowed it back to the bed. Oh well, live and learn!

 

I bought the box through Burpee seed company, although I am sure it would be fairly easy to make, if one was handy. I did purchase the grids through the square foot gardening site. You could also easily make those, but DH and I are SO unhandy, it was best to just buy them!

 

My garden is around 8x12, I have three grids, and then a large area I'm using for bigger plants like watermelon and zucchini.

 

You should be fine planting in April, unless you are in an extremely hot summer area like I am.

Michelle T

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I have never heard of this book, but it looks interesting! I've been thinking about what to do with a 11' x 4' raised bed in my new home's yard. This would be perfect! I was going to grow lots of salsa plants, herbs, and flowers, but now I might add other vegetables.

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Square Foot Gardening is awesome. We are starting our second year and/or 6th growing season (since we are in Florida). We are adding more boxes to our garden area for a total of 12. We recently added a pool to our yard and had to move our entire garden to the other side of the yard, which was doable since it was in the boxes. Just lift the boxes, carry across the yard, and put the soil in the wheelbarrow.

 

My children love to garden and even more so since we have switched to this method. My two year old loves getting her grape tomatoes and helped plant lettuce this winter. This spring, we have added their gardening to our nature study time. They also use some of the 4H gardening books for curriculum.

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We tried it last year. I did not use the soil mix recommended and only added peat moss and compost to my hard clay soil. The soil was still hard, so I think I will not use any of my own soil this year, but start fresh. The only recommendation I would make is to make sure that you have very strong supports if you grow tomatoes. Our plants grew so big, and heavy that they just toppled the metal supports I had bought! We could only put one plant in a box. The tomatoes were awesome though and my husband can't wait to grow some more this year.

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TY, Michelle! My DDs are very interested and I hope we are no too late if we start in April. Tell me - did you use Bartholomew's recipe for "perfect soil", or just buy some from the store? I am so not a gardener - I have no idea about pH or compost or any of that stuff! All I know is that my DDs would love to garden. My oldest is growing a sunflower in a plastic cup (they did it in Sunday School a week ago) and is just thrilled at the little sprout - I can only imagine how she would react to a 4 x 4 garden!!!

 

Also, did you build your own box or order from the site? I was going to order from the site unless it's markedly cheaper to make it on your own.

 

Thanks!

I'm not familiar with this book, and I also am SO not a gardener...but I do know that here in NC, they recommend waiting till April 15th or later to do your outdoor planting, to be sure to be past the last frost. I would think you'd be fine waiting till next month.

 

:)

Melissa

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For two years now I have been thinking about trying square foot gardening (Mel Bartholomew). I know my DDs would love it and think that it is time to give it a try, now that they are a bit older. We are about to finish animals in life science and will be ready to start plants in two weeks, so now would be the perfect time to give it a try.

 

I'm curious to see who has tried this method and how it has worked for you. Any tips / tricks? I have the '05 edition and will be re-reading over the next few days, but am apprehensive. I know nothing about planting or gardening. I am the type who knows a few basic flowers and plants and that's it!

 

 

I just bought this book along with the Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch.... Garden flowers and garden vegetables are our focus area for our green hour challenge/ nature study.... you can read a little about what we are doing here

 

We have our starts ready and we are waiting for them to grow! Still undecided where to put our garden boxes my husband made me last year... We have 2... Im hoping he will make me 2 more. ;)

 

Im also doing this with my daughters... Im a bit of a brown thumb... hoping to change that with these books and some help from my girls!

 

I would just decide what you want to grow and work from their.... things you know you like and then by ease of care.... just to start...

 

Have fun!

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