I used to plant a huge garden in the ground. It was quite satisfying to watch the fruits and vegetables grow, but I found myself becoming too frustrated with the amount of weeds, wildlife and bugs I was fighting. Plus the drought conditions of a southern Illinois summer meant lots and lots of watering. I also have poor soil quality (lots of clay and shale!) and it was quite the chore to bring in the amount of compost I needed.
My mom told me about a seminar at a local nursery (Plantscape Nursery, Herrin, IL) that was teaching how to start a “square foot” garden. I was intrigued. I listened as they spoke about the benefits and it sounded almost too good to be true.
Curious for more information, I purchased the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.
Mel’s revolutionary way to grow more in less space sounded perfect. Plus his innovative grid-based method not only produces more in less space… it requires less work!
Square foot gardening requires two key components: raised boxes and a special soil mix that is three equal parts compost, vermiculite and peat moss.
If you are a DIY’er you can build the garden boxes yourself, however, I am not! I bought mine from Wayfair and Home Depot and they required very minimal assembly without tools.
I purchased the soil from a local nursery with his exact specifications: 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 compost and 1/3 peat moss. I thoroughly mixed all three together and added them to the assembled box.
All I need now are warmer temperatures because it’s been a chilly May and my tomato plants are not enjoying the cold nights. How about you? Did you plant a garden this year? What are your favorites?