Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)

Search

Loading...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Gardening In A Square Foot

By Michael Russell

If you havent heard of square foot gardening, you're about to learn one of the most useful and versatile gardening techniques ever created. Conceived by Mel Bartholomew, author of Square Foot Gardening, the techniques have been enthusiastically adopted by gardeners all over the world. Square foot gardening is eminently suited for container gardening, patio and roof gardening, backyard gardening, organic gardening, herb gardens, vegetable gardens, flower gardens and more.

The basic concept is to start small; the unit of measure is the square foot. Although Bartholomews original square foot garden was four feet square, many schools, community gardens and home gardeners start even smaller; a couple of one square foot containers is plenty to get you started. According to Bartholomew, a four square foot garden provides just enough harvest for one person.

How to Create A Square Foot Garden

Creating your own square foot garden is as easy as building (or buying) a box in which to garden. My own first square foot garden was a two square foot garden on the cement apron outside my back door in a city apartment. I used four square wicker plastic lined wastebaskets bought for a dollar apiece at the All-for-a-Buck store. Any container that can hold 6-8 of dirt, and has drainage holes in the bottom will work. The biggest requirement for location is sunlight. Choose a nice, sunny spot to place your garden.

Did I say dirt? Amend that. Bartholomew recommends what he calls Mels mix instead of soil. Mix 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 compost to fill the squares of your box or container. A 10 pound bag of each was plenty to fill my little 2 square foot garden.

Choosing and Laying Out the Plants for Your Square Foot Garden

The most important factor in laying out your garden is the one-square-foot grid. You'll be planting one type of plant in each square how many of them depends on the recommended spacing between plants which you'll find on the back of the seed packets. Depending on the needs of the specific seedlings, you can plant 1, 4, 9 or 16 plants in each square. To break it down if the recommendation on the seed packet is 1 foot apart, you can plant 1 in a square. If they need six inches between plants, you can plant 4. Two inches gives you room for 9 plants, and one inch spacing means you can fit 16 plants into one square foot.

My own first square foot garden was a spaghetti garden with this layout:

1 Basil Plant 4 Tomato plants
1 Oregano Plant 16 Onion plants

After You Harvest Your Square Foot Garden

Harvest the crop in each square foot when its ready, and continue harvesting until its no longer producing fruit/vegetables. At that point, uproot the plants in that square (use them for compost!), and plant another crop. By refilling and rotating the crops, you avoid depleting the natural nutrients of the soil, and keep the space productive throughout an entire growing season.

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter

Archives

Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at fredshead@aph.org.

Disclaimers

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.



The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.





The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.





Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.





Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.





Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email fredshead@aph.org to request permission.





Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.





Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.





Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.