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Wide Row Planting VS. Square foot gardening VS. Container gardening

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Project by rramos50361 posted 02-24-2010 01:03 AM 12118 views 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am going to compare the results between three different styles of gardening. I will post pictures of the results as they occur. In the blog, I will post daily updates that goes with the project plus things that are going on at the farm. We all know about square foot gardening. Wide row planting was made famous by Dick Raymond in the book The Joy of Gardening. And for those without space, I will throw in container gardening. I’m going to plant as much as space will allow me to in each garden. This isn’t a scientific experiment. I find that there is not enough gardening information out there. I hope this project helps you decide which method is right for you.

-- Robert-Monica



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rramos50361

68 posts in 2890 days
hardiness zone 6b

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vegetable square foot gardening wide row

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24 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3780 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-24-2010 04:36 AM

I love experiments!

beautiful photo

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3043 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-24-2010 06:35 AM

I am looking forward to reading about your progress and results.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3410 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 02-24-2010 06:43 AM

Sounds like a fascinating experiment. Thank you for undertaking it. I am not aware of anyone else who has done this experiment, so I look forward to hearing about the results. Please post all information including successes and failures. Photos would be beneficial for us as well, if possible.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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jroot

5121 posts in 3410 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 02-24-2010 07:08 AM

I just found this link. http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/garden.html#books

Perhaps there could be further research into the results of his comparison, but I have to go now. ... maybe later.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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sharad

1671 posts in 2997 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 02-24-2010 11:02 AM

I am also looking forward to your experiments which I am sure will be accompanied with pictures. Thanks for undertaking such project. jroot thanks for the link.
Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

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Bon

7374 posts in 3560 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 02-24-2010 07:41 PM

This sounds so interesting.Good luck with your experiment.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View DavesYard's profile

DavesYard

304 posts in 2837 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-24-2010 07:44 PM

Will you be using the same soil in all 4 places?

You could take soil from the field where you will be doing the row planting..

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2290 posts in 3600 days

posted 02-25-2010 06:00 PM

Just to sound stupid….......what is “square foot gardening?”

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

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DavesYard

304 posts in 2837 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-25-2010 09:08 PM

Square Foot Gardening is the practice of planning small but intensively planted gardens. The phrase “square foot gardening” was popularized by Mel Bartholomew in a 1981 Rodale Press book and subsequent PBS television series. The practice combines concepts from other organic gardening methods, including a strong focus on compost, closely planted raised beds and biointensive attention to a small, clearly defined area. Proponents claim that the method is particularly well-suited for areas with poor soil, beginning gardeners or as adaptive recreation for those with disabilities.

Basically it is compact gardening in raised beds.

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rramos50361

68 posts in 2890 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 02-25-2010 10:34 PM

To stay true to square foot gardening, I will use Mel’s mix. The container garden will get potting soil. And the other two get plain jane sandy loam. Tomorrow I will get the areas ready.

-- Robert-Monica

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Greenthumb

2290 posts in 3600 days

posted 02-26-2010 07:03 AM

My big vege garden has extremely poor soil and what looks like soilis actually sand. If I pound manure to it then the results are excellent but with a heavy work load this is becoming increasingly hard to find the time. I also have the oncoming dumpage of pigeon manure thats always mixed with uneaten seeds from the FIL and then of course the miles of hoses. I am going to sod obver half the garden, keep an area for beets,leave the asparagus but otherwise…......its gone.

I want to make raised gardens just outside the back deck where hoses reach and distance from the house is minimal and I can also line the raised beds so that the soil doesnt get sucked down into the sandy soil.

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

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rramos50361

68 posts in 2890 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 02-26-2010 07:25 AM

I would go with square foot gardening in your case. You should read the book. Its written by Mel Bartholomew. Its doesn’t matter what kind of soil that you have, cause you aren’t going to use it anyways. Check it out.

-- Robert-Monica

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Greenthumb

2290 posts in 3600 days

posted 02-26-2010 07:32 AM

As a boy I was raised in a rural area, lots of little farms (zone 7) and as I got older many ethnic families (immigrants mostly Italians) moved in. I had all but forgotten the way they gardened.

No garden way at the back of a 1 acre lot, No big walk,.........gardens, almost always raised,just outside of their back patio. I assume that this is the way they did it back home….....for centuries.

Thanks for the info, I will see about getting the book.

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View DavesYard's profile

DavesYard

304 posts in 2837 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-26-2010 07:44 AM

I grew up in Scarborough, Ontario which is a very ethnically diverse suburb of Toronto. It seemed as if each culture had their own pocket of the city – Greeks, Italians, Indians, Sri Lankans, Chinese, you name it.

I happened to live in a section that was full of Greeks and Italians. You always knew which properties were theirs, as their lawns and gardens were always pristine. This is partially due to the fact that a lot of them had elders from the old country living with them, as was a traditional way of life. You would always see them out tending their gardens.

And I remember going into my friend Peter’s backyard, it was always a little piece of Eden. His grandparents always had many raised beds full of vipe ripened vegetables and herbs, and many fruit trees.

Their gardens were always rustic, built with old pieces of lumber or whatever they had around the house. But they were always beautiful and immaculate, never a weed in sight, and nothing but lush green. And since the properties were fairly small, every inch was carefully planned and used.

So yes, Greenthumb, I can attest to what you are saying. One day I wish to have a garden like this, but I know it is many years away.

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Greenthumb

2290 posts in 3600 days

posted 02-26-2010 10:41 AM

Isnt that the truth Dave. I wish I had paid more attention.

I grew up speaking German and English, the german stopped when I was in grade 3 or so, then I picked up Italian because most of my buddies were first generation Italians and their mothers and grandmothers(Nono’s) would spend all day preparing the evening meal with most everything they prepared came from the garden and their cellar. I remember going into a few cellers with big hams hanging from the ceiling, cheeses and wines galore…...all home made. If I close my eyes I can almost smell it. A small patio with grapes hanging from the pergola and ya…...the garden took up every square foot beyond that small patio and it was lush and green. Sometimes I would see the widowed grandmothers walking out into the fields and then I would see them walking back holding pheasants. I’m guessing that “how they caught them” is now illegal….

I think we lost something there. How many people have their parents live with them. How many families still till soil together or make wine together or sausage, make their own pasta. heck the little kids here (teenagers) are lost in a kitchen and seem to have ZERO propensity to be in the garden, build a fort or even be outside. ........sigh. the TV has replaced what used to be a way of life that lasted for centuries. Why cook when the speed dial button on the tele can have a hot meal at your door in 30 minutes that was grown locally, shipped across the Pacific ocean, processed elsewhere, shipped back and eaten for less then a bag of topsoil, water and some seeds…........?

I want it back and maybe thats why I enjoy gardening soooo much. I make my own pasta, my own bread and the bulk of all the food we eat, is home grown. Next year I hopeto build a masonary smoker so I can cure my own ham, my own sausage, fish.

Fond Memories and heres hoping we both win the lottery.

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View DavesYard's profile

DavesYard

304 posts in 2837 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-26-2010 10:45 AM

If I win the lottery I will buy a large plot of land and start my own colony. It will be like that movie “the village” only not as creepy.

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3780 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-26-2010 11:49 AM

the knowledge that has the potential of being lost … :(

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3043 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-26-2010 12:30 PM

Dave and Greenthumb, don’t wait until you win the lottery. Start on a smaller scale, from where you are, with what you have now. We have GTs doing this already: e.g. growing and preserving their own food, saving and trading seeds, planting perennials and trees to provide for the future as well as now, using renewable energy sources, teaching others the skills to repair and build things that will last. You both have a wonderful skill to teach, carpentry and plumbing.

As individuals, if we stop consuming unsustainable products and become independent and responsible producers of sustainable products and wealth, our actions will act as an invisible consumer boycott, helping to undermine the centralized and large-scale economies that support and maintain wasteful, dysfunctional and addictive consumption-oriented behaviors of our society. If we act now, we can rediscover and teach these skills before they are lost. I guess what I am saying, be the change you want to see. We eliminated the TV from our house four years ago and we don’t miss it. In fact, we marvel at how much more time we have to do the things we want to do.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Josh's profile

Josh

42 posts in 3233 days

posted 02-26-2010 02:26 PM

I’m a big fan of Mels book. I’m switching over this spring to his style of growing. I have an area in my yard that nothing grows. It happens to be right next to my old neighbors garage door. I think something nasty washed down my way as i have no soil issues anywhere else. So I’ll be giving the sfg method a go there. The amount of produce you can pull out of a small area is staggering. I’m hoping to start constructing my first bed this weekend with a ghetto cold frame attachment. I’ll hopefully get some pictures posted.

View rramos50361's profile

rramos50361

68 posts in 2890 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 02-26-2010 03:04 PM

Me and my wife took over her dad’s acreage a couple months back. Its only 2.5 acres, but every bit of it is planned. I have spent hours cleaning the trash out and getting the yard mowed down. My goal is to run a full fledged farm. Selling our veggies, jellies, and honey. I know it will take years to get it done. I make my kids go out and help and get away from the tv. My grandpa made his own beer and wine. He even canned many of his own veggies. I envy Amish people and others who live a simple life. I spend 8 hours a day outside working to make all of this a success. We also bake alot of our own bread. We tried pasta, that didn’t work too well. I have a book that was my grandpa’s that Reader’s Digest put out. It was called Back to Basics. It has a lot of info on homesteading and living off the land. Most of my family was from the southern united states. So it was a given that you gardened and raised animals. There’s prolly a dozen country songs out there that describes my family. You guys have given me more ideas by just sharing something about your past. Thanks!

-- Robert-Monica

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Greenthumb

2290 posts in 3600 days

posted 03-03-2010 03:10 PM

When I moved to this small hobby farm I had great ambitions and dreams. Some have come true while others wait. Cutting the hay was a challenge as nothing had been cut in the previous 12 years. Pushing the forest back was another challenge. Grading the land so that melting snow and rain would once again feed the natural wetlands and pond and not my basement, yet another challenge but the greatest challenge of all, was realizing that my dreams and ambitions are mine, and mine alone. While some “think” its a great idea, when they realize whats involved they run the other way.

I still have the dream of raising veggies, berries, fruit and selling them at the local farmers market. I still have dreams of raising sheep, some goats, maybe even a few head of cattle, perhaps smoking sausage. I still want to own horses but again. These are my dreams and mine alone. Had this been a different time, the children would have never had an option of whether to work the landbut the clock has ticked and now they think …...why bother, when you can un-do the zip lock and microwave it.

It would be a safe guess to say, that if the Chinese owned this parcel of 25 acres…...........they’ld be exporting by now. Opportunity is missed by most because it comes disguised with cover alls and dirty fingers. I envy those who have the opportunity and take advantage of it, of sticking the little ones in the garden, letting them milk a goat. The kids might not know how lucky they are, but time will show them otherwise.

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3043 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 03-03-2010 06:30 PM

Greenthumb, even if you have not achieved all you want toward your dream, you have achieved so much! Your ponds and gardens are a lovely piece of paradise. Your barn and greenhouse are such nice buildings for the work you want to do. The furniture pieces you have created are breathtakingly beautiful. Someday you may be able to find a “kindred spirit” living close to you who does not have his own farm but would like to farm. Maybe you could collaborate. It is very hard to do everything yourself, especially if you are still trying to pay the bills while you get set up. Enjoy your new greenhouse this spring and post some pictures of your little seedlings inside!

Robert and Monica, enjoy your journey as a family. It sounds like you have embarked on a wonderful adventure! I look forward to reading about your farming journey as it unfolds.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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PakenhamBeauty

6 posts in 2798 days

posted 03-21-2010 10:48 AM

Hello to everyone, I am so glad I found this, I have benefiitted from all of your experience. I just finished making my own grow light shelving unit a littrle over 4 weeks ago and my plants rae loving it, so my thanks as well as my plants thanks to all… Now I find this wonderful person putting together a square foot garden. I looked at the lasagna garden and the sqaure foot garden. The lasagna garden was just too involved for my taste plus out here in Pkaenham with our high winds I could just picture one big gust of wind and the 24” of layers blowing all over my neighbors fields. My question is are you using Mel’s new mixture, a third compost , third, vermiculite and third peat moss? We have no soil here, We are on lime stone with maybe 2 or 3 inches of soil. So the idea of boxes and his mixture sounded great. I also started my own little worm farm down in the basement with red wrigglers this year, built them their own little three storey condo. It’s doing well. Hope to move them outdoors this summer. Read about people doing it out East in Nova Scotia and they Survived the winter there so they should here.
Enough said for now, You can tell I live in the country, I have developped the gift of gab, sorry….

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rramos50361

68 posts in 2890 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 03-21-2010 02:40 PM

I am using a mixture of compost and peat moss. I’m not going through the trouble of finding vermiculite. Today I’m going to finish setting my bed up. I would build your beds up at least 12 inches. Most plants will grow with that much space. You could even throw in worm castings whenever you change out plants. As soon as I get it done I’ll post some pictures of it up. The larger plants like tomatoes and squash, I would put in buckets and containers. Its just far easier that way. I didn’t use mel’s 4×4 method. I just built a bed thats about 6×8. You need to write down what you want to grow and determine the amount of space from there.

-- Robert-Monica

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