ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Compact Gardens

Updated on March 6, 2014

My Garden

One of my garden beds using the Square Foot Gardening method.
One of my garden beds using the Square Foot Gardening method. | Source

Square Foot Gardening

Original article – Spring 2011 (Update in capsule at the bottom of the Hub. My original plan was to rewrite the entire Hub, but decided to do an update instead.)

I recently purchased a copy of Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening, and have been diligently reading it....again. I borrowed a copy from the library years ago, and was very impressed with his method. I did incorporate it to a degree, and it worked. Life got in the way, and my world (and my garden) was taken away from me, so I lost what I had done.

I am once again in a position to have a garden...this time with much more space. I do not like the weeds, so I have decided to build my garden beds Mel's way. I already have one in place...now just to put off planting until it warms up just a little more. I was going to build a few today, but the rain came and forced me inside.


Garden Planning

Mel talks about the types of soils in his book, and I do have to say mine is clay. This method of gardening will keep the soil from getting compacted as I will be walking on paths between the beds. Any gardener knows clay has got to be the worst for getting compacted. It is great for holding moisture, though, so adding organic matter as each square is worked will open up the air flow while still retaining the much needed moisture.

I will be using Mel's gardening method, as well as the traditional rows for my potatoes, corn and pumpkins. I will be growing enough for a Market Garden this year, so will be benefiting from the crop rotation possible with Square Foot Gardening. Things like lettuce, radishes and Swiss Chard will grow quickly...and the increased harvests will give me better yields. Plus, the compact garden beds have minimal weeds, so more moisture and nutrients will go to the crops instead of the weeds.

Mel suggests beds made four feet by four feet, and a grid marked with string, boards or other narrow materials. A trellis may be placed on the North side of the grid if you wish to grow tomatoes, peas, cucumbers or other climbing plants. This way, the smaller crops will still receive maximum light and will not be shaded by the taller crops. I will be planting tomatoes and cucumbers in a couple of mine, and peas in a couple more. The shorter crops will go in grids South of the taller plants.

Growing Up

I do have to say adding a trellis made from a strong material is a good thing. I added the framework for one, but have come to realize (after reading more in his book) it will not be tall enough nor strong enough to support the crops I will be planting. When the weather clears, I will be removing the framework I installed and be replacing it with a taller, stronger trellis. I am glad I realized this mistake before my crops were planted.

I am very anxious for the weather to improve so I can finish designing my Square Foot Garden, and plant it. I will also be adding a trellis to one by four foot beds along the West side of my garden spot; this will be planted with peas and climbing nasturtiums. It will be pretty, yet functional and edible.

I encourage any gardeners to try this method...even just one grid for a salad garden. I'm sure you will be hooked by the ease of this method. The initial building of the beds is the hardest you will have to work having this type of garden. Good luck, and may the weeds find somewhere else to grow!

Update - March 2014

The original article was written in 2011. I have since applied the method and used my garden beds with the Square Foot method. The picture at the top of the Hub was my garden the first year. In the following years I added a couple of beds and rotated where I planted the crops. My tomatoes always did well, as did most of the other crops.

I never did get the yield required for a market garden as I had placed my beds along a row of moisture-stealing spruce trees (lesson learned).

Another lesson learned was NOT to plant zucchini and watermelon in close proximity to one another. I was very excited when I harvested a watermelon about 8” in diameter, only to have my heart sink when I cut it open. I had a perfectly round ZUCCHINI! The two had cross-pollinated and I was left with all zucchini: too bad I didn't end up with zucchini-shaped watermelon.

We moved in October 2013, so now I will have to start all over again with the garden beds. On the upside, I now have a better idea of what will work, as well as how deep I want the beds to be.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • brsmom68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Diane Ziomek 

      8 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      After a brief email from the owners of Compact Gardens Pty Ltd., I have agreed to add their website. I did visit it, and it definitely has some information and products that go along with my article. Please visit their site to see for yourselves. Thank you!

      www.compactgardens.com.au

    • brsmom68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Diane Ziomek 

      8 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      I would like to point out this article is in no way affiliated with "Compact Gardens Pty Ltd" from Melbourne...I have been emailed by them saying I took their name. I cannot see how the title of an article can be in any way harming or interfering with them. Anyone reading the Hub can see it is not affiliated with them, nor is it damaging to them. It clearly states a review of a gardening method by Mel Bartholomew...so proper credit is given to the correct person. Am I wrong?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)