I also realized that if each square foot could be planted with a different crop containing either one, four, nine, or sixteen plants, all properly spaced, it wouldn't be necessary to plant a whole row of just one crop. So, why not stagger your vegetable plantings, so that your harvest is also staggered? Makes sense, doesn't it? Yet we've been taught all our lives to plant everything all at once in long rows— another hand-me-down technique from large-field crop farming, i i youre farming for commercial purposes, you want everything to ripen at once so it can be harvested together and taken to market. But with home gardening, you want to stagger your produce so you can use it throughout the season for daily consumption.
Of course, I'm not talking abotit canning, freezing, and other home-storage measures, although SFG is a practical gardening method for these purposes also. However, I've found that people are not storing homegrown produce to the extent they did in the past. Remember, I grew up in the days of the 4Victory garden," a result of World War II when Americans were encouraged by the government and by society to have a big garden that used the old single-row planting methods. Most people who grew up during those years hated gardening because of all the weeding and hard work it entailed. That carried over into a whole generation of people who stayed away from gardening just because of the negative memories associated with maintaining a large traditional garden. And, I might add, also from all the work of canning and freezing. So why does the government still teach the same old system more than 60 years later?
I meet many mature couples where the husband proudly states, "I have a big single-row garden, and I grow a lot of produce." And the woman responds, "Oh, but I wish he'd stop. He grows all this produce that we really don't need anymore. Then I have to can and freeze it. I'm tired and don't want to do it anymore. We don't need it
but he just keeps growing it!" With SFG, you dont have to grow so much at a time that it becomes overwhelming.
I began to realize another great advantage of SFG—by reducing the garden size by 80 percent, it increases the number of places where a garden will fit. A garden no longer has to be way out back, snugly put up against your neighbors property line. And since you don't have to fertilize, water, and weed the aisles, it can now be located near the house.
"Closer is better" is one SFG motto. When a garden is closer to the front or back door of your home, you pass by the garden more often. This means it is easier to take care of and can be more readily enjoyed, all of which results in a better garden and a happier gardener. The whole package fits together nicely. There are so many advantages to Square Foot Gardening, and the benefits and efficiencies of the concept only continue to increase.
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