While waiting for those to come in, I have plenty of seed to get me started on this seasons plants.
We tried hydroponics for the first time last year and it worked out great for us.
We also do a lot of container gardening and a little traditional gardening in raised beds.
One thing I would really like to try this year is a planting style called "Square Foot Gardening".
If you have not heard of Square Foot Gardening (SFG) before then a good place to start for info would be Mel Bartholomew, the creator, website at melbartholowmew.com .
This is such a wonderful concept! With SFG you can grow 100% harvest with 50% of the costs, 20% of the space, use 10% of the water and 5% of the seeds and it takes only 2% of the work over traditional row gardening methods!
This is such a simple method that anyone can learn to do it and it will greatly help the food shortage situation we are facing.
In a nutshell, to get started with SFG all you have to do is build a box (3'x3' or 4'x4') with weedcloth on the bottom, fill it with soil and add a grid. Here is some info from Mel Bartholowmews site:
The 10 Basics of SFGClick each of these points to learn more. Thanks to Cassie Aula, one of our best certified instructors in Ohio, for the descriptions of the basics.
No more gardening in rows! What a waste of space! Always think in squares: lay out 4 foot by 4 foot planting areas with 3′ wide aisles for easy walkways between them.
Build garden box frames no wider than 4 feet x any length, and 6 to 8 inches deep. Boxes can be built from wood, vinyl or even cinder blocks.
If you plan to have more than one garden box, separate them 3 feet to form walkways. Aisles can be made from grass, brick, stone, mulch or any other material that enhances your garden plan.
Don’t dig up or use your native soils! Line the bottom of your box with a good weed fabric and fill boxes with Mel’s special soil mix: 1/3 blended compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 coarse vermiculite.
On top of each frame place a permanent grid that divides the box into one foot squares. The grid is the unique feature that makes the whole system work so well.
Since you will NEVER walk on or depress the growing soil, don’t make the frames any wider than 4 feet (2 feet, if only one side is accessible). Any wider makes it too difficult to reach in to tend the plants. Tend to plants regularly and trim dead leaves and branches with a pair of scissors. Harvest with scissors, too, to protect the plant from damage.
Depending on the mature size of the plant, grow 1, 4, 9, or 16 equally spaced plants per square foot. Choose fruits and veggies that make sense for your family and for the intensive planting style of the Square Foot Garden.
Plant two or three seeds in each spot by making a shallow hole with your finger. Cover, but do not pack the soil. After sprouting, save the best one and snip off the others - thinning is eliminated. Seeds are not wasted. Extra seeds can be stored cool and dry in your refrigerator. Don’t over-plant. Plant only as much of any one crop as you will use.
Water the root area only using a cup from a sun-warmed bucket of water. Water often, especially at first, and on very hot dry days. Warm water helps the soil warm up in early and late season.
Here is a link to the SFG store for books, dvd's, tools and more squarefootgardening.com
and this is a quick overview video about Square Foot Gardening.
My challenge to everyone is to start a garden this year, if you live in an apartment or don't have a yard then plant things in containers and set them on your deck or balcony. If you have the space, grow extra food for someone in need. As well as utilizing extra hydroponics plants this year, I plan on doing a couple of extra square foot boxes for veggies to give away to people in need.
We can wipe out hunger! Along with providing much needed fresh produce we will also be helping people towards a healthier eating habits and life style.
So lets grow those seeds of love everyone <3