August 25, 2014

Square Foot Gardening/スクエア・フット・ガーデニング

My family moved to a new house in the fall of 2005, and in the spring of 2006, I started growing vegetables in planter boxes for lack of soil in the yard around the house, as you can see from the photo below. I also started square foot gardening (SFG), but quit it in 2008 because I was unable to grow vegetables in SFG boxes properly.
私の家族は2005年の秋に新しい家に引っ越し、次の写真を見てわかる通り、家の周りの庭に土がないので、2006年の春、プランターで野菜を育て始めました。また、スクエア・フット・ガーデニング(SFG)も始めましたが、SFGの箱でうまく野菜を育てられなかったので、2008年にはSFGは止めました。

Photos taken on May 17, 2006
2000年5月17日に撮った写真

East side of the house:
家の東側:
West side of the house:
家の西側:
Narrower than the space on the east side. I thought I would grow mushrooms there.
東側のスペースより狭いです。ここでは、きのこを育てようと思いました。


June 17, 2006
I made several SFG boxes (3 x 3, not 4 x 4).
2006年6/17
SFGの箱をいくつか作りました(4 x 4ではなく3 x 3)。

June 26, 2006
My son was all for that new "out-of-the-box" method. He even wrote the letters SFG on the top of his omelet.
2006年6/26
息子はこの"out-of-the-box"(独創的な、既存の枠にとらわれない)方法に大賛成で、オムレツの上にSFGという文字まで書きました。
These photos were also taken on June 26, 2006
2006年6月26日に撮った写真
Maitake (left) and oyster (right, buried entirely in soil) mushroom logs
マイタケ(左)とヒラタケ(右、土に完全に埋まっている)の原木 




July 13, 2006
2006年7月13日
Planter boxes on the same day
同じ日のプランター
July 30, 2006
I made two additional SFG boxes.
2006年7月30日
SFGの箱をもう2つ作りました。

I prepared Mel's Mix (equal amounts of compost, peat moss, an vermiculite).
メルズミックス(堆肥、ピートモス、バーミキュライトを同量)を作りました。


September 3, 2006
2006年9/3
Okra
オクラ
Mulukhiya and okura
モロヘイヤとオクラ
Edamame (young soybeans)
枝豆
Goya (bitter melon)
ゴーヤ(苦瓜、ニガウリ)
Planter boxes on the same day
同じ日のプランター
Another SFG box
別のSFGの箱
The tall plants are cherry tomatoes.
背の高い植物はミニトマトです。

September 13, 2006
2006年9月13日

September 28, 2006
Maitake!
2006年9/28
マイタケです!
October 22, 2006
2006年10月22日
Two years later
2年後

June 26, 2008
2008年6/26
Strawberries and corn(?)
イチゴととうもろこし(?)
Cherry tomatoes and mulukhiya(?)
ミニトマトとモロヘイヤ(?)
Straw berries
イチゴ

Conclusions: I really liked all the new concepts described in Mel's book, "ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING", but I was just unable to grow vegetables properly even if I prepared Mel's Mix properly. I have a feeling that chemical fertilizer is absolutely necessary to grow vegetables large.
結論: メルさんの本「ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING」に書かれている新たなコンセプト全部をいいと思いましたが、メルズミックスを正しく作ったにもかかわらず、野菜をちゃんと育てることができませんでした。野菜を大きく育てるには化学肥料が絶対必要だと思います。

***
Fall of 2008
I started to rent this piece of farmland, measuring about 6 x 5 m.
2008年秋
この農地(広さ約6 x 5 m)を借り始めました。
December 23, 2008
2008年12/23
Photo taken after all daikon were harvested.
大根を全部収穫した後に撮った写真。

Some other photos to share
写真ももう少し

In the spring of 2006, I asked the owner of the narrow piece of land between my house and a city road to rent part of it.
2006年の春、私の家と市道の間の狭い土地の所有者に、その一部を貸してくれるよう頼みました。

June 26, 2006
2006年6/26



You can see how narrow this piece of land is from this photo.
この写真でこの土地の狭さが分かると思います。
September 13, 2006
2006年9/13
Watermelons!
スイカ!

Tiny, but sweet enough.
小さいですが、十分甘かったです。

8 comments:

Yangsze said...

Hi Hiroyuki,

I also tried the square foot garden and completely agree with you. The idea sounds nice and the box is very pretty, but Mel's mix didn't work for me either, even though I followed his recipe for soil exactly. It produced rather lackluster crops. I did much better just using a good commercial potting mix for outdoor pots. And dividing up the boxes into little squares was quite bothersome in the end!

I have gone back to my regular raised beds and large pots filled with commercial potting mix and amended with regular helpings of chicken manure compost etc. That seems to work much better! Thanks for sharing about your garden :)

Fräulein Trude said...

I would recommend raised beds if you don't have enough space. It makes a huge difference to boxes.
I harvest enough salad leaves, chillies, tomatoes and summersquash to feed two people from just a few raised beds and one is occupied by pumpkins. I don't use chemical fertilizers just compost and natural fertilizer as guano, horn shavings and such. For compost I use a high temperature compost unit where I fill in all organic waste from the kitchen and weeding - nothing leaves my garden, all organic material will be reused. It helps to reduce our garbage fees a lot. But renting a field is good too. I sadly don't have enough time on hand to do this work. Maybe when I am retired I will reconstruct the garden area and keep some fowl too.

Hiroyuki said...

Yangsze: I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one!

Mel's Mix is rather cumbersome to make, and besides, I learned by doing some calculation that Mel's Mix was almost the same as commercially available, ready made potting soil in price.

Like you do, I use cow manure and bark compost, and I also use chemical fertilizer.

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: You are a great compost maker! I don't think I can make any vegetables properly without the help of fertilizer!

I also make compost, but I simply let kitchen garbage, weed, etc. turn into soil.

Yubun Auyeung said...

I really have to research a bit and plan this out over this winter. Look like it's going to be another hobby for me.

Hiroyuki said...

Yubun: No matter which farming method you may select, you and your family are going to have a blast!

T Square said...

Is pest a problem? Or those fruit/vege has strong gene?

Hiroyuki said...

T Square: I'm not 100% sure, but I think 6 inches deep Mel's Mix was not enough for vegetables to grow properly.