Monday, May 9, 2011

Time to Get Your Hands Dirty!

Can I get a resounding AMEN??! Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are FINALLY reaching 60 degrees. It's taken until May 9, but hey, spring sprung today!!! And we all know what that means..... IT'S TIME TO GARDEN!!!!!
I'm going to introduce you to my very favorite, SIMPLE gardening method: The Square Foot Garden. I discovered this book about 6 years ago now, and it has transformed how I garden. Gone are the days of huge plots of land that need to be weeded every hour, tilling the soil in hopes that it won't compact into mud again, and praying and hoping that something would just GROW! With this system, everyone can garden well (even those in wheelchairs or the elderly).
Here are the basics:
*Boxes are built from basic, untreated lumber for the squares. They aren't very deep because the soil is so good the roots don't need a lot of space.
*You fill the boxes with a combination of compost, peat moss, and coarse grade vermiculite (Mel's Mix is what he calls it. I call it magic)!
*Inside of each box you lay wooden slats to divide the box into smaller squares, each a perfect square foot.
*the soil is perfect so there isn't a need to keep amending it.
*weeding is at a minimum because the boxes are separate from the ground soil.
*less space is used to grow more produce! You don't need a big yard, or even a yard for this.
*Easy plant-support instructions are provided for vertical gardening.
If you've been dragging your feet about gardening, this method will make the task seem fun and easy. Give it a try... it will save you a lot of money, time, and energy. Plus, you'll impress all of your friends with the green thumb you grew overnight!

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