Cultivating

My last piece of advice concerns something everyone used to have to do in the old-fashioned, single row garden — get out and hoe and cultivate, chop down those weeds, loosen up that soil, and hill up those plants, all in a three-foot-wide aisle. It was a terribly hot, dusty, dirty job.

But in a square foot garden, you never have to cultivate. Why? Because you've never walked on your growing soil to pack it down. Therefore, it never needs loosening up. You pull the weeds by hand when they are only an inch or so high, so you don't need a big, heavy hoe. And you have perfect growing soil that is already friable, loose, and filled with humus, so there is no need to cultivate to let the air in. Since you have so much humus, it will attract a lot of earthworms which will loosen it and aerate it even further. And if you mulch, it won't get baked hard and crusty in the sun like an overdone pie.

If it all sounds too easy to be true, try it and see. The square foot system will take you through your growing season with a minimum of effort, leaving you with lots of time for harvesting and delivering your produce, and going to the bank with your profits.

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