Square Foot Gardening

If you are interested in gardening but feel overwhelmed by the idea, the book Square Foot Gardening will give you the courage to dive in.

A couple of years ago I wanted to start an organic garden, but I was sleep deprived with two young kids. My husband was exhausted and overworked as well. This book was the turning point. It helped us to do what once felt impossible.

The Square Foot Gardening method is simple, efficient, and best of all–NO WEEDING!

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Mel Bartholomew was a retired engineer that took up gardening as a hobby.  He used his engineering skills to adapt home gardens to a more effective and efficient model.  He called it “Square Foot Gardening.”  His book took the country by storm, selling over 2 million copies.  Not bad for a retirement gig!

The book includes step by step instructions on how to build a raised bed garden, including tips to make it affordable, durable and adaptable to different growing seasons.


A standard 4×4 square foot garden in the front, and a 2×2 bed in the back.
Parsley, mint, thyme, basil and swiss chard in this bed, with room for much more.  

The book includes a soil recipe called “Mel’s Mix” to fill your garden bed.  His mix is a nutrient rich, lightweight, and well draining soil blend that has stood the test of time.  The best part–it is 100% organic.  You can use your own compost, or use his instructions on selecting and purchasing the best mix of compost to add to his mix ingredients.

The last section of the book details how to plant a variety of vegetables, fruits and flowers in a square foot garden.

Square Foot Gardening is written for the absolute beginner.  The plentiful photos and diagrams make it a very easy read.  You could read Square Foot Gardening this week, and on the weekend have your very own garden built, filled and planted.

Square Foot Garden www.morevegetables.com

A rotting sweet potato from our compost bin sprouted, so we cut out the sprouts and planted them in our square foot garden.  We got tiny sweet potatoes in the 6″ deep bed, and a giant one from the 1′ deep bed.


 Various square foot garden beds on our back patio.  I regret not taking photos when the garden was in full bloom–I didn’t think I’d start a blog.  (That, and my kids like to water the garden in their underwear, so all the photos from the summer aren’t shareable!)

Gardening has proven to be a relaxing and rewarding hobby.  Fresh air, time in the sunshine, and organic homegrown food are the best gifts.  The kids certainly eat more vegetables if they come from the garden they helped grow.


A Giant Sweet Potato from our Square Foot Garden.
A result of the compost cutting.

We continue to expand and adapt our garden each season as our skills grow.   We are beginners, and we look forward to sharing what we learn right here at MoreVegetables.com.

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