Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Setting Up a Vegetable Garden

There are many ways to grow a vegetable garden: a traditional earth garden, raised bed gardening, more intensive gardening like the French intensive or square-foot method, container gardening, and even variations within these such as vertical gardening. One would think that there must be a superior method to gardening. The good news is that there isn’t one right way to garden. I am employing no less than four types of vegetable gardening right now in my backyard. I have a traditional raised bed with strawberries grown with square foot spacing, eight large self-watering containers with square foot spacing, a three sisters companion planting earth garden, and summer squash planted in the ground with more traditional spacing. There isn’t one right way to do it and depending on what you want to grow, you may find that one size doesn’t fit all. I’m a fan of square foot gardening. I do a little lower cost variation of it using less expensive soil components. It works for smaller vegetables or those that can be trained to grow vertically. I won’t grow my summer squash, corn, pumpkins or sunflowers in a square foot bed because the investment in the raised bed and soil is too great. These are large plants. I could only get a few ears of corn in one square foot but I can get four lettuce plants or one indeterminate tomato instead. It just makes more sense.  So far it seems to be working out well.

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