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Posts Tagged: book

James R. Carey and Deborah Roach: Incredible Book on Biodemography

James R. Carey, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology

The long-awaited book on biodemography is about to be published and it's incredible. Distinguished professor James R. Carey of the UC Davis...

New Look at an Old Book

We recently painted (or actually "had painted") the inside of our house; so, in preparation, everything needed to be packed away or at least moved to the middle of the room and covered. While putting things back, I found it a perfect time to discard old, no more used, broken, or out of dates items.

But while putting my gardening books in a new space, I saw them in a new light and marveled at the great variety I had accumulated over the years, including Sunset's Visual Garden Manual published in 1941, to six and a half years of Garden Gate Magazine, to Teaming with Microbes autographed by co-author, Jeff Lowenfels, plus everything in between.

Picking up a book I'd hardly noticed previously (where did this come from?). I became engrossed in the author's theory and practice. It was Mel Bartholome's, Square Foot Gardening (Rodale Press, 1981). Mr. Bartholome presents a simple idea of single seed planting in a square foot area of prepared soil. By "single seed," he means one seed per hole as opposed to casually dropping all the seeds from a packet in a long row, then needing to thin. The number of seeds placed in the 12 inch square depends on the mature size of the plant. For example, he suggests in a 12 x 12 section, one would plant 16 radish seeds, or 16 carrots, or 16 onions, 9 spinach, 9 beets, 4 Swiss chard, 4 lettuce, 4 parsley, 4 marigolds, 1 cabbage, or 1 egg plant. Larger vining plants such as cucumbers, tomatoes, or pole beans can be grown vertically as opposed to being allowed to sprawl.

Easy to read and understand charts on planting suggestions are found throughout the book.

Advantages using this method are avoidance of over planting, and eliminating the need to thin. It is a simple model and can be adapted to meet varying needs. (For example, this method works well in waist high gardens developed for those with physical limitations.). It is a time saver. It is a water saver. How long does it take to plant and water four seeds?

Mr. Bartholome's book contains a tremendous amount of general gardening information, including, but not limited to, seed starting both indoors and out, pest control, specialized gardens, recipes, companion planting, composting, and tool selection.

This seems like a great book to recommend or give as a gift to a new gardener or to someone who thinks they may want to grow a vegetable garden, but feels she does not have the space. Simply glancing through this book has inspired me to try this method next spring. In checking on line, I found this book and a number of updated versions available.


Cover of Square Foot Gardening. (photo by Cheryl Potts)
Cover of Square Foot Gardening. (photo by Cheryl Potts)

Posted on Monday, December 9, 2013 at 10:18 AM
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