May 24, 2011

Spring is here and Square Foot Gardening is near!

So, I have been missing for quite some time, at least here at the blog that is. Spring is upon us here in Southeastern Michigan, and with the warm weather, comes new outside activities! Along with the responsibilities of a new job, raising a new baby, and everything else in between, we have decided to take up gardening!

In the past, I have tended traditional row gardens, and with some success, managed to harvest a crop or two. But those harvests often came with the burden of fighting weeds and time. Living in a condo with a small patio, we were not very sure we would ever accomplish the feat of a garden in such small quarters. We definitely could not fathom creating a row garden in our closed in patio, that essentially amounts to about 10' x 20' or so. On top of the cramped space, the ground area on our patio was a mud pit and weed patch. Then there is the dilemma of sunlight not hitting the ground for sufficient amounts of time. Needless to say, our gardening outlook was bleak.

All New Square Foot GardeningBut then a friend helped us out with a book he had come across. All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew is about a system of gardening made simple. Using raised beds, table tops, or deck railings, anyone can have a garden. The method not only allows you to utilize a custom soil/compost mixture that is proven to raise premium organic vegetables, but it also is broken down into simple terms, illustrations, and cost-effective material usage to help just about anyone get setup and growing! With good drainage, efficient use of water, and efficient space utilization, any area can become a productive garden that produces a crop rival to any traditional row crop around, in proportion of course!

With our limited space and planting time approaching quickly, I ordered the book, bought supplies, and prepared a space for planting. It has been a harried past month or so, but now that everything is ready, my garden is planted, and the patio is now a pleasant garden and retreat, I think we will actually have a tad more time for....the new baby!

Well, If you are a gardener, and you would like to check the method out, I have posted some progress pictures below. We will see how the crops finish at harvest time, but as for now, everything is doing great! I highly recommend this book not just for its information and instruction, but because it is fun to read and the illustrations make a pro out of any novice! Happy gardening!


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