Square foot gardening can be fruitful

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A funny, but prompting, story.

My parents only live two houses away from me and my Dad puts out the most beautiful vegetable garden every year. The garden is definitely his pride and joy.

Well, I was sitting on my pool deck and happened to look over at Dad’s garden (which he just got fully planted). There was a turkey heading from the farm field behind us straight for Dad’s garden. Once the turkey got to the garden, it started taking a dust bath.

I hollered down at Dad and he took off running and chasing this turkey from one side of the creek to the other. I was laughing hysterically, but the turkey tired and finally went the other way.

This little story prompted me to think about gardening, the many different types of gardens, who can plant a garden and just different things like that.

Square foot gardening

Then, I focused on square foot gardening.

What is a square foot garden?

Simply, it is a raised bed garden where vegetables and flowers can be planted very close together. This type of gardening is ideal for residential areas and it makes gardening simple.

Square foot gardens can be in many different sizes to suit your needs. Some are 2 feet by 4 feet, some 4 feet by 4 feet, and some are raised high enough you don’t have to bend down.

Fresh vegetables

The best part is these types of gardens can be anywhere, allowing anyone to reap the benefits of fresh grown vegetables.

Some advantages of this type of garden:

• You can buy bagged soil (if it is not available to you from your land.);

• No need to till each spring;

• Much easier to water and fertilize due to no rows;

• Much less weeding and every square is dedicated to vegetables;

• Easier to control pests;

• A lot easier on your back;

• Water conservation, of course.

Size, design can vary depending on you and want you want and what room you have available.

Here are some examples only of what you can plant in each square foot:

• 9 onions, beets, garlic or spinach

• 16 carrots or radishes

• 4 lettuce

• 1 tomato, pepper or eggplant

• 1 squash, melon or cucumber per 2 square feet

This little introduction gives you an idea of what square foot gardens are and how and where they can be used. We encourage you to dig deeper and find out more on square foot gardens and all that it will conserve and provide.

More information

Information for this article was obtained from the Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet and more information can be gathered at www.ohioline.osu.edu and also from the NDSU Extension Service and more information can be gathered at www.ag.ndsu.edu.

So whether you live in the city, just outside the city limits or even on a farm, square foot gardening can happen anywhere and you can enjoy the homegrown veggies.

About the Author

Tracy Haney is district program administrator for Tuscarawas Soil and Water Conservation District. Tracy has been with the district for more than seven years. More Stories by Tracey Haney

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