I’m excited! For the first time ever I’m going to attempt a vegetable garden. Our growing season is short on Wyoming’s windswept plain, and in past years I’ve felt too busy with growing babies inside to grow produce outside. This year I’m finally at a stage where I’m ready for some dirt digging family adventure.
Because I’m into taming chaos, exercising dominion, and imposing order on things, I want to go about gardening in an organized way. And, as usual, I decided to do a little research first because research can be done from the comfort of my chair, without dirtying my hands or getting blisters. I’ll get to the dirt and blisters soon enough.
In researching gardening styles, the most organized, efficient, flexible system I found is the Square Foot Gardening method.
I love the tidy squares, and the efficiency of being able to grow so much in a small area. As the book mentions, “Square foot gardening… sets forth definite limits or boundaries within which you will garden. It limits the amount of space, and thereby time, you will devote to each vegetable, chore and step in the garden.” Indeed we need limits–limits free us, and some structure actually increases, rather than hinders creativity. (Structure in poetry is a lovely example of this.)
We are starting small, and the square foot method appeals in flexibility. We can easily add on squares each year as our helpers (a.k.a. children) grow, and our confidence increases.
Here’s a great link to Robin Sampson (of Heart of Wisdom’s homeschool fame). She shows her square foot garden and gives a more experienced review of the method than I’m qualified to provide. (She’s actually done it–I’m just planning to.)
Here’s a link to squarefootgardening.com
Here’s a link to All New Square Foot Gardening on Amazon.com:
Tame the earth and subdue it, create order from weedy chaos, and enjoy the garden this summer! I’d heartily recommend Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.
This article is cross-posted from my Taming The Chaos column on the HSB Company Blog)
~Domestic Chaos tamer and homeschool mom of 5, Dell writes about home, heart and hearth.~