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By Reggie Solomon
Square foot gardening is the ultimate urban gardening solution!
I stumbled upon this book at the Yale Bookstore this afternoon, and it has changed the way I will forever approach urban gardening.
The Square Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew who also once hosted a similarly-titled television series on public television, is built around gardening in a 4′ x 4′ square subdivided into a grid of sixteen 1′ squares. Mel’s system, which can be organized via a raised bed or at ground-level, incorporates an ingenious vertical trellising design to accommodate vining vegetables such as tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, squash and melons.
The square-foot gardening system is ideal for the urban gardener because it’s suited for small spaces, maximizes growing space by eliminating wasted space between rows, and accommodates vertical growing.
Mel has two books, another called The New Square Foot Gardening that’s more updated, has a green cover and color-photos inside and focuses more on raised bed systems, and an older book (this book) that has a color cover, black and white photos inside and lays out the basics of the square foot gardening system.
The original book is the foundation book that’s best for beginners (it’s the book I chose too).
Normally, when I go to the bookstore, I just find a book I like, and then go home and order it online cheaper, but I literally couldn’t put this book down, and after an hour of sitting on the floor at the bookstore, I figured it was worth just doing the outdated buy-a-book-at-the-bookstore thing.
I’m already through most of the book, and I’m totally convinced this is so perfect for the urban gardener.
In fact, Mel is uber urban-garden sensitive and even has drawings of how to incorporate this system on an apartment-building roof! Awesome!!!
Mel also has a modest website that sort of looks like it was created back in the 90s by a part-time, high-school intern, but it offers a good overview of the square gardening system nonetheless.
Here’s to a summer incorporating some square foot gardening into my urban garden!