Tuesday, August 30, 2011

SFG=Square Foot Gardening=Love

Andrew and I tried Square Foot Gardening this year, and it has been a joy.  Basically, it is a method for planting lots of plants in small spaces.  We have 4 raised beds – 2 boxes that are 4′x4′ and 6″ deep and 1 box that is 2′x2′ and 12″ deep for longer root veggies like carrots and leeks.  We filled the raised beds with a soil we mixed ourselves – 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 compost and 1/3 peat moss.  The soil is a dream – all natural, organic, drains well, nutrient rich and light and fluffy.  Each box has a grid marking each square foot.  Mel gives instructions for how many of each plant you can fit in each SF.  A tomato or pepper is one per square foot; basil is four per square foot; spinach and sugar snap peas are nine per square foot; and radishes are sixteen.  With this compact method, you can really grow a lot in a small space.

In our three boxes, I am growing:
9 sugar snap pea plants
9 beet plants
9 spinach plants
16 radishes (we’ve already harvested and eaten all of these and the SF is now filled with more spinach)
8 heads of lettuce
3 jalapeno peppers
2 tomatillo plants
16 basil plants (lots and lots of pesto…)
48 carrots
9 leeks
3 tomatoes
2 cucumbers
2 oregano
4 bell pepper
and about 72 zinnias and cosmos!

Yes, all that in 36 square feet of garden!!  And it couldn’t be easier.  There’s no weeding except for a few weed seeds that blow in; there’s no tilling the soil; there’s no back breaking work.  And it’s all natural, totally organic and the veggies are amazing.  Much better than what we’ve even been getting in our weekly CSA basket.  Here’s what I harvested yesterday:

2 cups basil for Walnut Pesto; 5 carrots for carrot cake; 4 beets for beet ravioli; a few sugar snap peas for snacking; and some zinnias to brighten up the house.  Check out these beauties:

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