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Paperback Square Foot Gardening : A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work Book

ISBN: 1579548563

ISBN13: 9781579548568

Square Foot Gardening : A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work

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Book Overview

One of the bestselling garden books ever is fresher than ever Ready to inspire a whole new generation of gardeners. When he created the "square foot gardening" method, Mel Bartholomew, a retired engineer and efficiency expert, found the solution to the frustrations of most gardeners. His revolutionary system is simple: it's an ingenious planting method based on using square foot blocks of garden space instead of rows. Gardeners build up, not down,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Simply a Great Gardening Book!

The fact that this book has been in print for decades says it all. But let me add to the applause and tell you that I have used this book as a reference for over 20 years, and have used Mel's methods in the sands of Florida, the gumbo of Texas, and now the 'barely there' soil of Northern Virginia. And what have I gotten... production and ease! Based in part on the French Intensive method of gardening, you pretty much can avoid the inherent soil problems of where you live and grow veggies and flowers with little weeding and grunting. Ideas in this book include: How to prepare the soil (fertilizers, conditioners) How to put together raised beds and other support structures if you want them A guide for popular vegetables -- how and when to plant them, including how to start seeds -- the what-fors of watering -- common pest and disease problems In my opinion this easy to read book is a gardening staple good for all levels of experience. Pam T~

Mel and his squares work!

By a happy accident, I stumbled upon the 1982 copy of Square Foot Gardening. I was very pleased with his concept. However, having a full acre but not a tiller, I was even more pleased when I came across his All New Square Foot Gardening. "What an ingenious method!" thought I. No $50 fee for a tiller and borrowing a truck and all that mess! That's until I tried to actually put it into practice. Don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic concept, and it works very well and you should get this book if you want to garden smarter not harder, but there are a few hiccups I wanted other readers to know about before they got started. For those of you who have not perused the book or are familiar with the new method, I'll sum it up for you: you build these four by four boxes--no tilling required--cover the bottom with weed blocker material, and then fill it with a particular mix that Mel says works like a dream. The boxes are easy, the method is brilliant, but the mix was a different story. 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculite, agricultural gauge, which means chunky bits of vermiculite, not fine. Everything was going smoothly until we tried to find vermiculite. We checked all the Home Depot type megastores, the little stores, gardening supply, everything he says to do in the book, to no avail. When we did find it at a pool supply company, we were informed we would have to pay $125 shipping to get it here from Atlanta. Online did not prove much better because we are growing a garden to save money, not spend more. Finally, we had to settle for the fine stuff from a pool supply company which was pretty fine grade, but made the most luxurious and easy to work with soil I have ever seen. It was worth the search, but here's the problem I had: Now Mel addresses the vermiculite availbility on his website, saying that it is now available in Utah, with no shipping. Utah, huh? No problem! Except we live in Memphis. When we wrote the website explaining our trouble finding it at a reasonable cost, we did get a quick reply (to all our questions, btw) and they sent us a pre-formatted response telling us to check at the home supply mega-stores because he's never found one that didn't carry it. My question is if it's everywhere then why have the pre-formatted response? And when he addresses finding a substitute, says that yes, you can substitute perlite (which is much easier to find) but he says don't do it because it makes him sneeze, it doesn't hold moisture as well as vermiculite, and he doesn't like the way that it feels or how it makes the garden look. Well. Aren't we a just a bit Martha. Lemme just write that check for $185 to the pool supply with the agricultural grade. So that being said, why did I give it five stars? Because other than finding the vermiculite--which we finally did in fine grade for $28 for four boxes--I've rarely seen a more reader-friendly book! It comes complete with layout pages, very consise planting gui

I LOVE IT!

?I started my first square foot garden last year with the help of Mel's original book. I made raised bed boxes using information from his website and loved the results. I was so excited about his new book that I pre-ordered and counted the days until it arrived. The new book is amazing! I love the colored photos, diagrams and just the overall readability. The omission of all the information about soil improvement, etc is welcome since those steps are no longer necessary. Our soil is exceptionally rocky, so using Mel's mix makes gardening possible without hours of backbreaking labor. My only complaint about the new book is that the information about growing, harvesting, and preparing specific vegetables from the first book was not included. New information was added for some herbs, flowers, and strawberries, but the profiles for zucchini, carrots, beans, etc. were left out this time. This was the part of the book that I had found most helpful. As a rookie gardener, I need all the help I can get. Even though this omission makes this book less than perfect, it is excellent in every other way. Their website is an excellent resource to use in combination with the book and they actually answer your emails! It is nice to know that if you have a question, you can get an answer straight from the author. Overall, I love this new and improved version of Mel's book and highly recommend it.

Change your way of thinking

I grew up near Baton Rouge. We had three acres of land with about 20,000 square feet of garden. I was the only boy in the family, so during the summers when Dad was at work, I got to work that half acre all by myself. I hated gardening and swore I would never inflict this curse on my kids. I started reading this book on 3-31-00, and started digging and planting the following afternoon. I am actually excited about my new garden, and my kids were begging me to let them help me. This is a terrific book and I recommend it to anyone that even thinks they might have an urge to grow. You can grow nearly all the veggies your family of 5 can eat in less than 100 square feet, including corn. Some things just take up too much room (potatoes, for example), but if you want to eat it, you can probably grow it in your square foot garden.The only thing that isn't really covered (if it is, I missed it and apologies to Mr Bartholomew) is replenishing soil mineral content. All plants produce their vitamins with not much more than standard nitrogen, phosphorous, and potash fertilizers (organic or synthetic), but they cannot produce the trace elements that they get from the soil which are essential to your diet (like iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, et al).Anyway, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. READ THIS BOOK READ THIS BOOK. You will be thanking yourself every time you eat a meal. Many thanks to Mr Bartholomew!
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