My apologies to all of you for the things that I said about the French Intensive Method (FIM). I described how you have to dig down in two 9″ layers. What I found out was that you don’t have to go 18″ deep. You have to go 24″ deep. Two 12″ deep layers. Now that’s a lot of shoveling, and since a shovel only digs 7-9″ deep, you’d have to do two layers for each of those two layers. Gets complicated and ends up being even more work than I thought. I also learned that the bottom level isn’t shoveled out. You merely switch tools and use a heavy duty fork to loosen the next twelve inches.
Enter Square Foot Gardening
Now compare that to Square Foot Gardening, where you merely fill in your box with a 6″ deep layer of Mel’s Mix and you never, ever have to dig it up or take it out or move it anywhere. You enhance or re-energize the mix with a handful of compost stirred in every time you replant that square foot. I say “stirred in” because in a 3rd world country, all we need for Square Meter Gardening is a stick to stir up our soil every time we replant a square. In this country we’re much more sophisticated so we’ll need a hand trowel for addign and stirring.
Now I don’t want you to think that I’m making fun of or criticizing all of the other gardening methods in any way possible. They are all well-thought out, detailed in description and have certain steps to them. The problem comes when you consider why they were invented, for what purpose and what group of people. then you find out that you never eliminate the weed problem that causes every gardener to give up at one point or another. No other method other than SFG tells you to cover your existing ground with a weed fabric so no weeds can come into your box. Then start your garden with only 6″ of a perfect soil that contains no weed seeds – hence, no weeds in your garden.
Other Methods Just As Bad
There are several other methods that have you build your raised beds in layers, but some of the suggested materials are filled with weed seeds, like topsoil. Other wide bed methods simply do the same thing as a single row garden in mixing and tilling in several other materials that will enhance your existing soil. But the weed seeds are still there and I have found through my 35 years of gardening that they are the main reason why most everyone gives up on gardening. I must admit that the hard work of digging and hoeing is certainly a close second. Both of these are eliminated with SFG.
If we move into the reasons for the methods, we will find that SFG is so simple and easy that anyone of any age, intelligence, training, or living circumstances can be very successful and grow all that they need to stay healthy and active at their own home. The choice is up to you.