Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Veggie Garden - The begginings

Because of the price hike in food we have decided to start a veggie garden. Money is tight so a good start is to plant what we eat the most of. After researching the different gardening techniques we realized the soil in the section of our house that we want to use is not the best. The area is also small and an odd shape. So we decided the best option for us was a combo of square foot gardening with a raised bed Lasagna garden. We measured the space and it looks like we can fit 4 - 4'x4' beds in the section and still have room for our compost bin!

What is a square foot garden and a Lasagna garden you ask?

Well square foot gardening is a technique of intensive planting developed by a civil engineer. Mel Bartholomew came up with square foot gardening in the 1970's. The Technique is a system of planting based on a grid of 1'X1' squares with plants placed in carefully determined spacing. In his book Square Foot Gardening Mel explains his system "The square foot system lets you make the most of your garden space to conserve the amount of water, soil conditioners, and labor needed to produce a maximum amount of food in that space. A square foot garden takes only one-fifth the space and work of a conventional single-row garden to produce the same harvest."

Lasagna gardening really takes square foot gardening to a whole different level. Patricia Lanza explains in her book Lasagna Gardening that this garden is a no till no dig organic method. You can check out her website at www. lasagnagardening.com. In a Lasagna garden the first layer is either Cardboard or three layers of newspaper laid directly on top of the area. Then you apply layers to the garden. Grass clippings, veggie scraps, leaves, etc. Then anything you would put in a compost pile you can put into the lasagna garden. The materials will break down to produce the soil to plant in.
So this last weekend we purchased the wood and some soil (We don't yet have enough compost for both sections) for two of the four beds. and started to layer our Lasagna garden. Its coming along nicely. It is way less work than I thought it was going to be. Next up is planting the sections!

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