Words, Pictures and Videos About a Variety of Gardening Topics

Archive for June, 2011

Book Review: All New Square Foot Garden by Mel Bartholomew

  • Have a small garden space?
  • No garden space at all?
  • Have a deck but no garden space?
  • Tired of tilling and weeding your garden?
  • Want vegetables that are clean and easy to pick…not laying on the ground rotting?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need “All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew”.

All New Square Foot Gardening Cover

Mel’s first book, simply called “Square Foot Gardening“, appeared in 1981, sold over a million copies, and launched many a frustrated gardener into a method of gardening that requires no tilling, virtually no weeding, can be placed anywhere, even indoors, is water efficient and can be used year round.

Interested? Then be sure to buy “All New Square Foot Gardening“. Unlike most new book versions, this completely revised and updated book actually contains a bounty of new information. It even lists ten new improvements to the original Square Foot Garden (SFG) manual. These improvements are the result of reader comments, new experiments, new technology and products, and new ingenuity.

The SFG method has all these benefits:

  • can be located virtually anywhere
  •  requires no tilling and very little weeding
  • no fertilizer required
  • easily constructed using readily available materials and tools
  •  can be sized to meet your specific needs
  •  doesn’t waste seeds
  •  can be used with seeds, cuttings or store-bought plants
  •  great for kids, seniors and those with disabilities
  •  puts the FUN back into gardening

This book contains detailed instructions, lists of materials, tips and techniques, and has hundreds of pictures, illustrations and tables that make SFG foolproof. Imagine being able to plant 16 different crops in a 4′ by 4′ bed! You can even plant root crops and climbing crops in the same bed.

But wait…there’s more!

The Appendix contains nearly 88 pages of detailed information about vegetable plants, herbs and flowers. The information includes plant spacing (sometimes more than one plant can be grown in a suare foot), size at maturity, weeks from planting to harvest, and much more. There are recipes, suggestions on storing your harvest, what plants work best together and what plants NOT to plant in the same bed. The information in the appendix alone was enough to justify the book for me.

Whether you’re a novice gardener or have years of experience with row crops, I urge you to buy this book and try the techniques it proposes. It will change your outlook about gardening.

Please use the link below to visit Amazon and look inside this book. I think you will find it as useful as I have and you can purchase directly by using the link.



Can You Immortalize a Tomato Plant by Cloning?

At my You Tube channel, nov51947, I did a video called “Save The Suckers!”

It was kind of an afterthought after my earlier video about whether tomato suckers were good or bad and whether you should remove them. Since then I’ve learned some new techniques for saving and propagating tomato suckers besides the “stick ’em a glass of water and hope they don’t rot!” technique.

But it got me to thinking…

If I propagate a sucker from a parent plant that I really like, then a few weeks later propagate a sucker from that child plant, then later progagate a sucker from the grandchild, etc., etc. (obviously keeping them inside or in a greenhouse over winter), can I theoretically make that plant immortal?

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, that IS the plot of many a Sci-Fi story! But my interest is purely scientific. (Isn’t that always the case?) Would the plant really be the same after several generations of cloning? Would it still bear fruit? Would the fruit be as prolific…or as tasty? Would it be more susceptible to disease or to physiological problems?

Being a scientist by training, I am going to begin a two year experiment. I will try to stick closely to the scientific method, keep a lab notebook (logbook), take photos and record observations. I’m going to spend some time designing the experiment and I’ll try to begin later this summer.

If I can propagate a new clone every eight weeks, then in two years I will have gone through twelve generations. I’d like to hear your ideas. Let me know how you would like me to conduct the experiment…what to look at, what variables to change, indoors or greenhouse (I might be limited there!), how to do a ‘control’, hybrid or heirloom, how to record my observations: in this blog or in a series of short videos on my YT channel?

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