From South Central Kansas - MidWest USA. Home of the Kansas Monarch Butterfly Flower! Copyright Robert Mader 2007 Thru 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Square Box Gardening - # 4
How to Do and Use Square Box Gardening
Why I use a Plastic Sheet Bottom on my Boxes
Go back to the very beginning of this article and view the Large Introduction Photo. In the background, you will see a few light green boxes with plants in them. But no grass or weeds at all in these boxes. Only between boxes or on the outside of the boxes do you see unwanted grass or weeds. I have spent maybe a half-hour on all 20 of my Pickle Cucumber Boxes - all Summer!
In the front close to these green boxes is a redwood colored box setting next to the redwood trellis just packed with grass as well as a few onions, a cucumber plant and a few leeks with large ''Pom-Poms" at the top. This box has no bottom and sets right on the ground. I have weeded it maybe 4 times this summer and the Grass - since it is coming from the ground Below the Box - is terribly hard to Keep out and Get. This is how I started growing in boxes. I had a lot of work cut out for me since the boxes were setting directly on the ground. I wanted drainage but the boxes had to be weeded and de-grassed at least every week to keep clear. With the Green Colored Boxes, I rarely have to pull out a weed even once a month. Part of the reason is the Plastic Sheet Bottoms and the other is the soil mix that I use. It is usually clean of most weeds when I first use it. The wind carries a few weed seeds and grass seeds occasionally in inspite of the caution to keep them out. With the Drainage Holes around the bottom of the boxes, I never have to worry about plants being drowned by a "Gully Washer" rain. [ A Kansas term for a very heavy Rain Storm]. We know, don't we guys and gals... When the soil is put in the boxes, I press down a little firmer around the edges of the box when I pack the soil mix down. Since watering is easy and takes small amounts, and the holes are on the sides of the box instead of the bottom, very little soil is lost. Maybe a half inch of soil this year from each box.
Grow More Plants in a Whole Lot Less Space
Since these are square foot boxes, and I can control the amount of water and nutrients going into each box, I can grow more plants in a smaller area. For example, 3 cucumber plants (as in most "hills") in one box. - since I grow them under a rope trellis and they grow UP instead of Out, They take up only 1 square foot of garden space. Not only that, I could probably put one box against the next with no space between and have about 90 plants in a 30 foot row! But I haven't tried that yet so I don't know how that will work out. I put about a 2 inch space between the boxes and let the grass grow between them. If it gets too long, I give the grass clumps a haircut with a kitchen scissors.I have figured out a simple method to keep the grass growing through much without cutting it. A herbicide is completely out.
There is more to come so stop by often to catch the latest up date on Square Box Gardening. Please go to the bottom of the page and check one of the Comment Blocks. More important, Please leave a comment and let me know how I am doing and what articles you might want me to write and ideas and experiments You have tried. I might even have You write an Article for us!
Coming Soon: "How to "Winnow" Onion Seeds" and also Leek and Chives using the same method - like the pros probably did 3 thousand years ago! Subscribe Below to keep from missing a post!
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