About Me

My photo
I currently serve as the mayor of the City of Milan. I feel transparency and open government are important to a thriving democracy. I invite you to post questions or comments ---if you have any ideas about things you'd like me to discuss, relating to the City of Milan, this blog is a great place to exchange ideas. You must include your name, (first and last) and town to have your comments posted here.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Square Foot Gardening !!

Here's my square foot garden from last year.

Top row: green beans that will grow vertically. Down the left side are vertically growing cucumbers. In the center is a tomato plant. Down the right side are basil plants. There are four pepper plants. But the two closest to the tomato were transplanted after I built more garden boxes.

I am so happy that the Milan Public Library is hosting a program on Square Foot Gardening, coming up on Thursday May 13 at 6:30 p.m.

My mom (a certified master gardener) has been using this method for years, and bought me the book, Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew several years ago for my birthday.

Square Foot Gardening is a method that has completely innovated and streamlined gardening for the home gardener. The square foot garden is easier to maintain, and following this method you can grow an incredible amount of food in a small 4' x 4' square. I love growing things like cucumbers, melons and squash vertically —for one thing the fruits do not get that ugly flat brown spot on them from sitting on the ground.

Square foot gardens are extremely beautiful to look at, and if you plant the right things in each 4' x 4' square you don't have to use pesticides, because some plants will act as natural pest repellents. I plant marigolds, garlic, and hot peppers in every garden box to keep away bugs—it works very well.

You don't have to use as much water when maintaining a square foot garden, and the size of this garden makes it very simple to weed.

I also like to grow things in a relay fashion so I have a non-stop supply. For instance radishes grow incredibly fast. You can plant 12 radish seeds evenly spaced in a 1' x 1' square, and in 4 weeks you'll have 12 radishes. So if you plant radishes every two weeks you will always have radishes. This works great for loose leaf lettuce too.

I love to start all of my gardens from seed. For one thing back in February, when it seems like winter is going to last forever, going through a seed catalog can really boost you out of those dull winter blahs. I order my seeds and start them in February or March, and at the same time I plan out my garden on pieces of graph paper.

I only plant one seed for every one plant I want to grow---most people will plant 2-3 seeds then pinch off the extra, but I have found that just planting one seed alone is successful and then there is no waste.

While this blog has nothing to do with City Hall, gardening is something that I feel so passionate about. Especially growing vegetables. No matter where you live, you can garden using this method. I highly recommend everyone attending this program at the Milan Public Library, on Thursday, May 13 at 6:30 p.m. Everyone should have the experience of growing their own tomatoes. There is nothing better. Really.






No comments:

Post a Comment