I have been thinking a lot lately about our vegetable garden for this year. We have a large plot near the house and we always seem to find ourselves way over our heads in produce and up keep, which leads to a lot of waste and frustration. We usually lay it out in a traditional format, several long rows about 2.5 feet apart for the garden tiller to pass through. I always feel I have to fill up the whole plot. (I tend to bite off more than I can chew sometimes) I have heard about the square foot gardening method for a few years now, through blogs, websites, and books. This year we are inspired to try it out. The basic philosophy of square foot gardening is growing more produce in a smaller space, with less weeding and upkeep, and ease of harvesting. We are planning on building 3 4 foot square boxes, with 1 foot square planting zones. Depending on the size of the plant, determines the number you plant in each square. I do have summer squash, cucumbers and tomatoes planned in the boxes, but with the proper trellising, they should grow vertical, not out horizontally. According to my figuring, this should grow as much as we want in about a fourth of the space. The idea is having less plants, but with more attention in the small space, will create a higher yield. It is bucking the tradition, but we are ready to try something different. My layout above is not the final one, still in the tweaking stage.
As far as the rest of the garden plot, we might try planting some perennial fruit bushes and flowers. I do want to try growing potatoes this year. Heck, maybe the lawn will reclaim a part of the plot. It will be interesting experiment. We are excited to try it out. If I am less overwhelmed and grumpy towards the end of this growing season, it will be a success. Stay tuned. :-)