Wednesday, March 20, 2013

All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew

All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew provides an easy to follow alternative to traditional row gardening. I began reading the book with a bit of skepticism because I grew up on a farm where row gardening was the norm. Over the years, I've since tried container gardening and raised box gardening with mixed results. Bartholomew makes the square foot gardening method seem approachable though I have to admit I'm having a hard time envisioning it being both more bountiful and less work than traditional gardening.  Bartholomew outlines how to build the boxes and how to plan the plantings. He offers advice on how to choose what to grow. He includes information about some of the more common plants people grow as well as a planting schedule to aid people in growing a square foot garden and extending the growing season. He also discusses soil and provides a soil mixture he calls "Mel's Mix" that he claims will grow the best producing plants and do away with the need for tilling the soil because the plants in the square foot garden are all grown in six inches of Mel's Mix. Bartholomew provides a method of gardening that promises to make gardening accessible to everyone. I'm intrigued and the book convinced me square foot gardening is worth giving a try. All New Square Foot Gardening is easy to read, nicely illustrated, and filled with useful information if a bit repetitive at times.

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