I have been reading a book recently called “All new square foot gardening” by Mel Bartholomew. This is a wonderfully innovative method for raised bed gardening.
When I lived in Winthrop I had a nice sized vegetable garden that provided us with some fresh veggies. I really loved being able to grow our own food, but I was really not sold on the whole row gardening method. Each spring you till the whole garden, then you make over half of it into paths. Since these paths are rich fertile dirt like the rest of the garden, and they are getting watered they grow weeds like mad! I got sick of weeding the paths, it was enough work keeping up with the plant beds themselves. I tried different methods of keeping the paths weed free, which worked ok, but not great. The other problem I ran into is that my paths moved location in the garden each year, which is horrible for the soil. Because you pack it down tight walking on it all year, and then it never completely fluffs up when you till it next year, so if you want to grow a crop on that spot the next year the roots cant go as deep as they would like to.
So I told myself next time I got the chance to settle down in my own space where I could have a garden I was going to do raised beds. That way you aren’t weeding your paths, the dirt for the vegetable beds isn’t getting compacted because the paths move every year. You can build up rich healthy soil in these raised beds if your soil is poor. There are many, many positive points to having a raised bed. And then I found this method. The square foot gardening method takes a 4×4 raised bed and splits it up into square foot sections. You space your seeds in each section based on how many inches apart they are meant to be. This allows you to plant what you need when you need it. Instead of planting a whole row of something so that it matures all at once, you can stager your plantings to have a constant fresh crop. To read more about it you can visit their web site at http://www.squarefootgardening.com/ I wanted to include one of the pictures of what these gardens look like, but I couldnt get it to work. So if you visit their web page you can see all different kinds of set ups.