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All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space [Paperback]

Mel Bartholomew
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Feb. 14 2006 --  
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Book Description

Feb. 14 2006 All New Square Foot Gardening

Do you know what the best feature is in All New Square Foot Gardening?

Sure, there are ten new features in this all-new, updated book. Sure, its even simpler than it was before. Of course, you dont have to worry about fertilizer or poor soil ever again because youll be growing above the ground.

But, the best feature is that anyone, anywhere can enjoy a Square Foot garden. Children, adults with limited mobility, even complete novices can achieve spectacular results.

But, lets get back to the ten improvements. Youre going to love them.


1)      New Location - Move your garden closer to your house by eliminating single-row gardening. Square Foot Garden needs just twenty percent of the space of a traditional garden.

2)      New Direction - Locate your garden on top of existing soil. Forget about pH soil tests, double-digging (who enjoys that?), or the never-ending soil improvements.

3)      New Soil - The new Mels Mix is the perfect growing mix. Why, we even give you the recipe. Best of all, you can even buy the different types of compost needed.

4)      New Depth - You only need to prepare a SFG box to a depth of 6 inches! Its true--the majority of plants develop just fine when grown at this depth.

5)      No Fertilizer - The all new SFG does not need any fertilizer-ever! If you start with the perfect soil mix, then you dont need to add fertilizer.

6)      New Boxes - The new method uses bottomless boxes placed aboveground. We show you how to build your own (with step-by-step photos).

7)      New Aisles - The ideal gardening aisle width is about three to four feet. That makes it even easier to kneel, work, and harvest.

8)      New Grids - Prominent and permanent grids added to your SFG box help you visualize the planting squares and know how to space for maximum harvest.

9)      New Seed Saving Idea - The old-fashioned way advocates planting many seeds and then thinning the extras (that means pulling them up). The new method means planting a pinch- literally two or three seeds--per planting hole.

10)  Tabletop Gardens - The new boxes are so much smaller and lighter (only 6 inches of soil, remember?), you can add a plywood bottom to make them portable.


Of course, thats not all. Weve also included simple, easy-to-follow instructions using lots of photos and illustrations. Youre going to love it!

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"Bartholomew, author of the popular Square Foot Gardening (1981), has refined his original square-foot gardening concept by adding ten improvements, including a new location for the garden that is closer to the house, a special soil mix, and six-inch deep, 4' x 4' above-ground boxes with grids. His techniques do not require heavy digging or fertilizers and feature advice on using vertical gardening to save space. He clearly explains the square-foot concept, from the rationale behind it (the square-foot garden takes up much less space than traditional row gardening and saves time, money, and aggravation) to how to plan the garden, build the boxes and vertical supports, and employ his planting and cultural techniques. There are also helpful charts for succession planting and spacing plants and a schedule for starting seeds indoors. Despite its somewhat annoying tendency to read like an infomercial, this attractive, easy-to-understand, and well-organized book for both novice and experienced gardeners is recommended for all libraries." — Library Journal

From the Back Cover

The Best-Selling Vegetable Gardening Book in America is Better Than Ever!
Square Foot Gardening works; over two million gardeners will agree. That’s how many folks have put Mel Bartholomew’s innovative grid-based method to the test over the years, and always with the same result: more produce in less space with less work.
In this exciting new edition of All New Square Foot Gardening, you’ll find all of Mel’s secrets revealed and all of his techniques explained. And you’ll marvel at how simple it really is: Create perfect soil in a raised box and plant your crops carefully in square-foot grids. No additional fertilizing is needed and virtually no weeding is required. Simply water and wait and you’ll be rewarded with two to three times the bounty you’d get from traditional row gardening. In your yard, in your driveway, on a balcony, or on a rooftop, your Square Foot Garden can be created practically anywhere. This beautiful new edition also contains all-new information on popular topics like gardening with kids and controlling pests.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT guide for your new garden March 16 2009
I bought Mel's book last fall, and it's inspired me to scrap the way I've been gardening for years and go the Square Foot Gardening route. This year I may still keep my traditional rows for a couple things, but I can see myself switching to this method in full over the next couple years.
Right from the Intro you start to see the benifits / reasons why this way of gardening is much more efficent - Mel's not trying to sell you on some fad Diet, or some scheme - it's all tried and true and it all makes perfect sense when you're reading. From the 'soiless' Mel's Mix to the 6" of planting depth for most veggies (Including Tomatoes.)
I'd highly recommend this book. DO a search on google for square foot gardening and you'll find thousands of practitioners who support and endorse the method.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK FOR THE EAT FRESH GARDENER June 26 2009
I love this book! I have never had the time or place to have a garden and I love fresh veggies. I put my boxes on my deck so I just have to walk out the door and I can water and then hopefully harvest. The book gives you step by step directions from start to finish, explaining why you are doing the steps. I bought the started veggies from my greenhouse so for most of it I don't have to wait until they sprout. My tomatoe plants have fruit already. 2 boxes will give me tomatoes, peas, beans, beets, carrots and radishes to eat and a few petunias for color....Try it you'll wonder why you never bought the book years ago.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Gardening July 10 2009
This book is clearly set out, easy to read and materials are readily avaiable to create your own 'square foot' garden. Enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource March 28 2013
By Janice
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I built 6 4X4 foot boxes and filled them using the exact soil formula in this book. Four years later, the boxes still look great and I am harvesting outrageously oversized and delicious vegetables for 4-5 months a year in Zone 5A. The boxes are super easy to maintain and only require an afternoon at the end of the season to put them to bed for the winter. Spring planting is just as easy and the grid keeps everything organized. An excellent resource that practically guarantees growing success if you follow the recommendations closely. I will say that the initial investment for lumber and compost was fairly expensive for a small growing space but that cost has been more than recouped in an amazing quantity of organic vegetables, herbs and strawberries and now the boxes require very little to maintain. I top them up with an inch or so of compost in the spring as soon as the soil has thawed (which happens weeks sooner than the rest of the yard inside the boxes) and start planting. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! May 27 2009
This book has wonderful ideas and makes the whole process of starting a garden simple and easy. The first year when starting up is what will cost the most (less than $200 for us) and maintainance should be about $10/year after that! With the amount of produce expected, it is more than worth it. I have checked this type of gardening out on other websites and nobody can compare with the technique in this book. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a new believer in gardening! March 2 2012
By Gary
I never planned on gardening as an adult after being drug to my parents garden summer after summer as a young person just to get eaten alive by the bugs. I've tried a couple times since I've been married and figured out costly/ineffective ways how NOT to garden and decided to stop after negative returns on investment. This book has completely changed my mind and I already believe I'm a complete success before the snow is even gone. Just reading the first few pages of the intro completely sold me on Mel's gardening philosophy completely! My bride is on board with me and I'm sure my children will really enjoy this too! Thanks Mel! Positively, [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gardening made easy! June 20 2009
Trust an efficiency expert to cut through the B.S. of traditional vegetable gardening row techniques to create a beautiful and practical gardening technique for those of us with postage-sized city backyards. I've started to compost in preparation for next season, when I intend to build at least one 4 foot by 4 foot by six inches (deep) gridded garden with the fluffy easy soil mixture recommended.
Well worth it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A manual for efficient small-scale gardens. June 23 2013
Gardening was a part of life of every family. If you didn’t grow your own, you didn’t eat. You had your own garden, chickens, a cow or two, horses, an whatever else tickled your fancy. You bartered, traded and sold a bit here and there. However, that was a long time ago. Some people are trying to get back to that level of self-sufficiency, myself included. I know I will always need money to pay mortgages, taxes, put gas in the car and diesel in the tractor. However, I also know that it is possible to lower all the bills and live closer to the land.

I picked up a copy of this book on my Amazon Kindle App to read about a new way to do gardening. I was looking at various sources to learn gardening. and with the bit I read of the book in the reviews and in a preview on Amazon, I decided to buy it (kindle edition) and read the rest. I was not disappointed. I read the book digital cover to digital cover. The book was laid out well and covered all my questions to date. It gave me ideas how to lay out the garden, what plants to grow, and some companion planting ideas.

The author, Mel Bartholomew, was an efficiency expert and civil engineer. He used those skills to redesign gardening from rows to squares. He used space efficiently for a home garden, and not for an industrial sized, full production garden. Waste-not, want-not seems the driving force through his invention of this method of gardening. The flow of the book takes you from theory to practice and assists you in design and gives lots of ideas to create your garden.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking at gardening in a new way, getting into gardening and want an easy way to do things, or just like to try new things.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Excellent book if you want to start home garden, you can also make adjustments to boxes by checking online such as adding legs or clear lid for winter gardening.
Published 1 month ago by Bobby
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Annette Sawers
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Handy book for starters
Published 3 months ago by Sue Coatham
5.0 out of 5 stars The layout is easy and I like using raised beds rather than a ...
This is definitely how I am going to garden in 2016. The layout is easy and I like using raised beds rather than a traditional garden plot. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Nancy Culyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
Just love this book, it gives you all the info needed to become a pro Gardner, i gardened first time this year and had great success!
Published 5 months ago by Sangeeta
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended book!
My daughter-in-law loves this book. She set up her garden(s) using this book, and she loves them. Highly recommended book!
Published 6 months ago by HomeJames
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful book to make sense of containing a no till ...
This is a wonderful book to make sense of containing a no till garden and without it all washing away. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Frances
5.0 out of 5 stars like some of the ideas but the technique feels too ...
Very interesting read, like some of the ideas but the technique feels too strict to me and I'm not very fond of the result visually-speaking. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jean-Marie Prévost
5.0 out of 5 stars good source
great book
Published 6 months ago by Margaret L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended sequel
Absolutely love this book! Purchased as both softcover & ebook so I can read anytime. Loved 1st edition & like 2nd edition even more, for simplicity in soil preparation.
Published 7 months ago by kajutisg
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