Sunday, July 25, 2010

Square Foot Garden Update

In addition to the Great Wall of Lettuce and Rapini, the Mel's Square Foot Gardening method experiment is also underway in a 4x4x1 foot box.  Here are some observations:
  • 4x4x1' is a perfect size for convenient gardening.  Mel recommends a depth of 7" but the plants seem happier with 12" depth, although it requires more soil and hence more cost.
  • The Mel's mix soil recipe is great, although I made a few modifications to suit my eco-ethic and pocketbook. The original recipe calls for 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite.  Mine is 1/3 compost, 1/3 lignea peat, 1/6 vermiculite, 1/6 red lava rock.  These modifications cut my costs significantly, increase the air and water retention of the soil and increase the local content of the materials.
  • The box is supporting fewer plants than Mel square foot chart would lead you to plant.  Mel suggested 8 bean plants per square.  I have more like 4.  
  • The beans were supposed to share the carrots, lettuce and chard but completely shut then out.  next year the beans go in the middle of the box, and the melons go on the outside
  • I over planted zucchini... a typical rookie supply mistake because last year's yield was so bad. 

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