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All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space [Paperback]

Mel Bartholomew
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,039 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 15, 2013 1591865484 978-1591865483 2

Rapidly increasing in popularity, square foot gardening is the most practical, foolproof way to grow a home garden. That explains why author and gardening innovator Mel Bartholomew has sold more than two million books describing how to become a successful DIY square foot gardener. Now, with the publication of All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition, the essential guide to his unique step-by-step method has become even better. Mel developed his techniques back in the early 1980s and has been teaching them throughout the world ever since. In the process, he has made improvements and refinements and continually adapted his practices to keep pace with modern times. In this new volume, Bartholomew furthers his discussion on one of the most popular gardening trends today: vertical gardening. He also explains how you can make gardening fun for kids by teaching them the square foot method. Finally, an expanded section on pest control helps you protect your precious produce. Rich with new full-color images and updated tips for selecting materials, this beautiful new edition is perfect for brand-new gardeners as well as the millions of square foot gardeners who are already dedicated to Mel’s industry-changing insights.


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All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space + The Vegetable Gardener's Bible + Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The key to success of the All New Square Foot Gardening method is to avoid the poor qualities of loc
Once you build the basic 4 x 4 SFG box with rotated corners, add six inches of Mel’s Mix, and add th
All New Square Foot Gardening offers ten new major improvements to the original SFG method. Now, with these improvements, anyone can be a successful gardener.

TEN MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS TO THE ORIGINAL SQUARE FOOT GARDEN METHOD 1. Location—Close to the House 2. Direction—Up, Not Down 3. Soil—Mel’s Mix 4. Box Depth—Only 6 Inches Deep 5. No Fertilizer—You Don’t Need It 6. Easy Access—Above the Ground 7. The Aisles—Comfortable Width 8. The Grids—Prominent and Permanent 9. Novel Idea—Don’t Waste Seeds 10. Expanded Opportunities—Tabletop Gardens

Yes, it’s true; this improved gardening method makes gardening even easier than before. You’re going to love every one of these improvements. You will now be able to reduce the size of your SFG so much that you can locate it close to your house for better care and more enjoyment. You’ll never have to dig up your existing soil anymore as you now build your new garden on top of it. No more hard work or heavy-duty tools needed. All you’ll need is 6 inches of a perfect soil mix from three common ingredients available everywhere. This mix never needs changing and no fertilizer is ever needed using this natural, organic method. You’ll use bottomless boxes made from common lumber, have aisles that are wide enough to comfortably move about in, and each box will have a permanent grid for that unique SFG look and use. You’ll use a minimum of seeds, so you won’t have to buy new packets every year. Best of all, some of your boxes can have bottoms so you can move them or place them at tabletop or railing heights for easier care and unique locations.


Review

STARRED REVIEW This classic reference is updated for beginner and expert gardeners alike on evaluating space, creating a soil mix, vertical gardening, and controlling pests. — Library Journal, Collection Development February 2014


Product Details

  • Series: All New Square Foot Gardening
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cool Springs Press; 2 edition (February 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591865484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591865483
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,039 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

MEL BARTHOLOMEW, a retired businessman and engineer, found the answer to the frustrations of most gardeners with his square foot gardening method, which has received worldwide acclaim. He also created the non-profit Square Foot Gardening Foundation to promote easy gardening methods for people around the world. He lives in Utah. For more information, visit www.squarefootgardening.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1,082 of 1,118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mel and his squares work! March 13, 2006
Format:Paperback
By a happy accident, I stumbled upon the 1982 copy of Square Foot Gardening. I was very pleased with his concept. However, having a full acre but not a tiller, I was even more pleased when I came across his All New Square Foot Gardening. "What an ingenious method!" thought I. No $50 fee for a tiller and borrowing a truck and all that mess! That's until I tried to actually put it into practice. Don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic concept, and it works very well and you should get this book if you want to garden smarter not harder, but there are a few hiccups I wanted other readers to know about before they got started.

For those of you who have not perused the book or are familiar with the new method, I'll sum it up for you: you build these four by four boxes--no tilling required--cover the bottom with weed blocker material, and then fill it with a particular mix that Mel says works like a dream. The boxes are easy, the method is brilliant, but the mix was a different story. 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculite, agricultural gauge, which means chunky bits of vermiculite, not fine.

Everything was going smoothly until we tried to find vermiculite. We checked all the Home Depot type megastores, the little stores, gardening supply, everything he says to do in the book, to no avail. When we did find it at a pool supply company, we were informed we would have to pay $125 shipping to get it here from Atlanta. Online did not prove much better because we are growing a garden to save money, not spend more.

Finally, we had to settle for the fine stuff from a pool supply company which was pretty fine grade, but made the most luxurious and easy to work with soil I have ever seen.
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254 of 259 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I INTEND TO UPDATE THIS REVIEW FOR A PERIOD OF AT LEAST A YEAR... THIS WILL HOPEFULLY GIVE YOU A GOOD SNAPSHOT OF THIS ENTIRE ENDEAVOR. I'D LIKE TO WARN YOU THAT THIS REVIEW IS EXTREMELY LONG - There are a couple photos of the beginnings of my boxes posted above.

My family and I have been wanting to plant an organic garden for years. However, we live in an area where the soil is red clay. The thought of tilling our soil was too daunting, so we put the gardening project on hold for several years.

This year we decided to "go for it" and the idea of using raised garden beds made sense (due to our horrible local soil). My wife did some research and found that Mel Bartholomew's method is consistently shown to be one of the best methods around. She bought me this book to get our project off the ground.

My wife had some reservations about this project. The reason being that initial set up (when done correctly) can be a bit costly.

One of the key elements of this book is the innovative composition of the soil used in the garden beds. I'll quote a portion of the book that discusses the ideal soil:

"There are three characteristics of a perfect growing mix. First of all, it's lightweight, so it is easy to work with and easy for plants to grow in. Next, it is nutrient rich and has all the minerals and trace elements that plants need without adding fertilizers. Finally, it holds moisture yet drains well."

Mr. Bartholomew goes on to say, "After many experiments, I found three of my favorite ingredients made the perfect mix when combined in equal portions." Mr. Bartholomew's perfect soil (which he calls "Mel Mix") is made up of 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 compost that is made up of five different types of compost.
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325 of 339 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but a few drawbacks... December 19, 2006
Format:Paperback
I've square-foot gardened for a number of years (mostly following the statutes of Mel's original book), and last season, upon moving to a new house, I made raised beds based on Mel's all-new method in this book. My thoughts almost exactly match those of reviewer S. L. Hutchison in his May 19, 2006 Amazon user review of this book entitled "Great concept but keep in mind..." It's a review worth reading.

The two things I would add to Hitchison's review are:

1. In many ways this "All New" book lacks a lot of the scope and detail of the original book. The old book seemed a bit more balanced and complete in the range of specific plants discussed, for instance. While I now follow the "rules" of this new book, I occasionally refer back to the old book for specific plant info, etc., not included in the new book. If you can buy a cheap used copy of the original book along with this new one, I don't think you'll regret it.

2. The editing on this new book was lacking. Some of the information is redundant, and some information in the planting charts is obviously incorrect--information "copied and pasted" into the wrong plant's section, etc. Nothing that will ruin your garden, but enough to leave me feeling cautious about the info. in the book as I read onward.

All in all, I like Mel's improvements to square-foot gardening, and I'm very glad he has written this book.
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274 of 285 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great method for any gardener with any garden size March 13, 2006
Format:Paperback
I rarely buy books, to be honest--it's a matter of money + space - great library = few purchases. However, I have bought several copies of this book because this method is superb: it's neat, it's clean, it's extremely--and I mean extremely--easy to manage. This is--by far--the easiest, best-laid out, user-friendly books I have EVER seen, complete with charts, pictures of each step--you name it. And personally, as a frugalholic, I love a book where someone who doesn't have to worry about cost remembers that other people do--Mel writes this for the frugal at heart complete with LOTS of money-saving tips!!! This book is SO thoughtful it even carries a plan for rooftop gardening and handicap accessibility! It is well worth your money even if you choose another method like lasanga or traditional rows (but why??? My goodness--never again!!!)

It calls for you to--basically--container garden in a four by four foot space and unlike the original square foot method, you do NOT have to til.

Repeat: no tilling. That should cause you to one-click right there. You use a specially made soil called "Mel's Mix". Wonderful stuff. It calls for 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 agricultural grade vermiculite in these very easy to construct 4 x 4 boxes, which are easy to cover, protect, and even make into mini-greenhouses if the need arrises.

The one little caution I want to give is please be aware that the vermiculite is not as easy to find as the author seems to think it is and check in your area before making any real plans. I wound up buying a fine grade from a pool supply company, and then after the fact was informed by an older gardener that I should have looked at the co-op. Start there first, and make sure you always ask if it's agricultural grade.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book!
Great book-very instructive.
Published 11 hours ago by Melinda A. Lockwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Concise and Useful Information!
Will be putting in a square foot garden in the fall. It's a very concise and easy to follow book with lots of info. We'll see how it goes, but so far looks promising! Read more
Published 2 days ago by Paula
5.0 out of 5 stars I have not had a garden in 30 years and this book helped me to plant...
My daughter in law suggested this book. I have not had a garden in 30 years and this book helped me to plant just enough for my needs in a manner that is easy to maintain. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Helena Powers
1.0 out of 5 stars I'd browsed through Mel's blog and liked what I saw
I have a large raised bed veggie garden and while I'm not committed to a "square foot gardening" style, I am always looking to pick up new techniques to boost my haul. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Contains some interesting concepts. Worth the read.
Published 3 days ago by Haooy One
4.0 out of 5 stars My garden is growing....
Very, very helpful even though I have been an organic gardener for years.
Published 3 days ago by S. Mankoski
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful reference book for any gardener
Well done. Useful reference book for any gardener.
Published 4 days ago by Edmuncm
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend to everyone with the space
Highly recommend to everyone with the space. I used the techniques for several years, but now live in a retirement village and don't have room for my Square Foot Garden. My loss.
Published 4 days ago by Donald Duquet
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect
Published 6 days ago by grammylittle
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A wonderful new way to garden for limited space and energy. Easy to follow.
Published 7 days ago by Sabra Farrell
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