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

Mel Bartholomew
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Paperback CDN $25.19  
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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Product Details

Product Description


"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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great back yard method May 5 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I liked the book and his idea that most gardening methods are throw backs to row farming, due to the equipment that was used in farming operations. It is easy to read and easy to follow. It sounds like a lot less work doing it this way (gardening) once you get past the bed construction (which is also easy enough). His three part soil mix is all organic and the foundation of his method. I am having trouble finding vermiculite locally in Southwestern Ontario though. I grow a lot of food for my family and I don't think this method will be practical for the amounts I grow. That being said I will give it a shot in a limited way this summer. In a small yard this sounds like the way to go (grow).
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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 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Like a Gardening For Dummies, so inspiring! May 1 2016
By A. Lam
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Love love love this book. I am not a greenthumb, and have zero experience in the garden. Picked up this book after I saw a friend build some square-foot gardens in her backyard and saw how much she was able to grow. I wanted to grow my own food as well for my little kids so they could have clean, organic, pesticide-free, GMO-free food.

This book made everything seem so simple and straight-forward, I just had to try it! It definitely explains a lot and makes the idea of starting a garden less intimidating. Its companion books are helpful, and so is the Square Foot Gardening community! With so much help, you can't go wrong!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recomment June 22 2016
By Tootles
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I feel confident about growing food for the first time in my life. And lessons learned will help with the annuals too. Totally recommend it, and I only have a small patio. My bed is 2.5 x 3 ft, and I can grow so much!
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7 of 7 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! July 4 2016
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book, the information is clearly presented and the method proposed is well supposed by empirical evidence. We've built 2 square foot gardens this year and are extremely happy with the results!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great revision! May 13 2013
By Tim A
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was an awesome book when it first came out, but obviously is a bit dated now. The revision is just as great as the original, with lots of updated information. Anyone looking to garden in raised beds or containers should have this book on their shelf!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, well written with a lot of comprehensive ...
Great book, well written with a lot of comprehensive graphics and picture. Every aspect, every recommendation is well explained so the reader can not only repeat the process but... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars More detailed information required
Good information & ideas. It would be considerably more helpful if they suggested types of tomatoe, pea, etc plants that grow vertical. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Aaron Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very very informative and was used to create the best garden this summer.
Published 18 days ago by Star
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by ian arthur price
5.0 out of 5 stars All New Square Foot Gardening Book
Love this book. Get rave reviews on my Vegetable garden every year with great harvests
Published 1 month ago by mwoo68
5.0 out of 5 stars so glad I purchased this book as well
Very helpful , very well written , so glad I purchased this book as well.
Published 1 month ago by Carol Mccuish
5.0 out of 5 stars Gardening from a new perspective.
The book contains a wealth of info to make vegetable gardening easy, enjoyable & productive. If this is what you are looking for, then I highly recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by John F
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent, Time to think differently about space and efficiency. Great gift for new gardeners :)
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Gardening book for growing vegetables at home
Filled with great information and tips. The "Square Foot Gardening" method was created 40 years ago and remains relevant today. Great for beginners!
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love it! So well laid-out, and easy to follow.
Published 3 months ago by Lori
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