Buying What You Need

If you found the math about area difficult in previous chapters, don't even bother with volume. Get the kids to do the math for you.

Why concern yourself with volume? Because you need to know the quantity of the three ingredients for Mel's Mix necessary to fill your boxes, and the packages for the different ingredients come in different sizes. But the good news is they all use cubic feet as their

So, let's review how to figure volume. Volume is merely: area x depth=cubic feet. In other words, square feet (the area) times the depth equals cubic feet.

Our 4x4-foot box is 16 square feet in area (that's 4 feet times 4 feet). If it were 1 foot deep, the volume would be: 16 (the area) times 1 (the depth) equals 16 cubic feet. But it's not 1 foot deep, it's only 6 inches deep so we need only one-half or just 8 cubic feet for our 4x4 box. The math looks like this: 4 times 4 divided by one-half foot equals 8. Or to show it mathematically, (4x4)/2 = 8. (Now dont laugh, kids, some of the parents will be thankful for this kind of help).

Peat Moss (Compressed bale)

Full bale: 3.9 cubic feet compressed = 8 cubic feet loose Half bale: 2.2 cubic feet compressed = 4 cubic feet loose (These measurements aren't exact, but were not mixing a cake here.)

Vermiculite (coarse)

Don t buy the small 4-quart sized or similar bag—insist on the 4-cubic-feet big bag. Call ahead to locate.



Multiply the widths of your box, and divide it by 2 to figure out how much volume your six-inch-deep box will hold.

(4 X 4) / 2 = (4 X 8) / 2 = (4 X 12) / 2 (4 X 16) / 2

8 cubic feet 16 cubic feet = 24 cubic feet = 32 cubic feet

The Backbone of the Square Foot Gardening Method

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