I was recently interviewed for another gardening article in the [Illawarra Mercury](http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/). My [last interview](http://green-change.com/2009/03/19/my-interview-in-the-illawarra-mercury/) was back in March, on the subject of lunar planting. Unfortunately they don’t put these articles online, so you’ll have to make do with this dodgy scan – click on the image to make it bigger (be warned, it’s a large file).
This article is on [Square Foot Gardening](http://www.squarefootgardening.com/) (SFG), a concept developed by Mel Bartholomew in the US. It doesn’t seem to have taken off much in Australia, although it has potential.
In a nutshell, Square Foot Gardening consists of dividing your garden bed up into 1-foot by 1-foot squares, and then dealing with each square individually. Small plants like carrots can go in 16 to a square (4×4), slightly larger plants like beetroot or radishes can go 9 per square (3×3), cos lettuce or bush beans 4 per square (2×2), and capsicums 1 per square. Larger plants like tomatoes or zucchini can occupy 4 or even 9 adjacent squares.
It’s a great way to garden with kids – you can give them a square to weed or plant out, and it’s a scale they can happily deal with. If you try to get them to help weed a large garden bed, they won’t achieve much. But working square by square, they can see what they need to do and they get a sense of accomplishment as they finish each square.
Square Foot Gardening also makes you see your garden differently. Instead of thinking you need a large, rectangular bed to grow vegies in, you start to notice all the smaller spaces and 1 or 2 foot wide strips where you can squeeze in a lot of vegetables.
I’ll write a more complete article on SFG sometime in the near future.
Let me know if you’ve tried this approach, and what you thought of it!