In today’s world where space is an equivalent of luxury, farmers and growers are adopting to alternative methods of farming like vertical farming or hydroponics which require less space. Another such successful method is square foot gardening. This method makes practicing general hydroponics easy. It is the practice of planning small but intensively planted gardens. It is a combination of principles of organic farming and stresses on the use products which are biological in origin.
Basic method involves using hydroponic equipment: open-bottomed box to contain a finite amount of soil and divide it with a grid into sections. Each section is to be planted with different variety of crops. Benefit of using smaller beds is that they can be easily adapted and it is easy for the gardener to reach entire area. Use of ‘weed barrier’ beneath the box is also advisable. In a more advanced method, garden space is divided into beds that can be accessed from all the sides. Each bed is again sub-divided into grids that are approximately one square foot units. Each unit is to be marked with sturdy slates so that they can visible even when the plants grow. Different seeds are planted in each square. Plants like radish, spinach, lettuce, carrots and onions grow very well in this kind of method.
To weed and water the beds, side pathways are used so to avoid stepping on garden soil or crushing any plants. Bio-fertilizers and composts are used to promote healthy and full-fledged growth of the plants. This gardening method has been implied successfully in many places including deserts and mountains. It is a perfect method for the cramped urbanized areas.
There are many benefits of square foot gardening:
Less labor work: Traditional gardening methods requires heavy tools are required to loosen up the soil, hard physical work is done to dig planting spaces etc. In square foot gardening however, much less work is involved. Soil is never compacted, it remains lose and loamy. There is no need of using any expensive hydroponic equipments. Weeding doesn’t take much effort or time because soil is light, beds are raised and plants can be easily accessed.
Saving water: In square foot gardening method soil mixtures which are used have high water-holding capacity. Because of the porous nature of soil, capillary action increases and water can reach the roots of plants very fast. So even small quantity of water can work wonders and this will help you save a lot of water.
No need of pesticides/herbicides: This method allows efficient use of natural insect repellant methods. You can do companion planting of marigolds with your plants and this will eradicate insects and pests. Having a densely varied population of different plants in small area is proven to be very effective in curbing plant diseases.
So now you no more have to worry about lack of space or intense labor work to grow blooming plants in your garden. Your own small and flourished garden can be grown using with the help of square foot gardening.