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Square foot gardening in community garden plot

15 years ago

Hi everyone,

This is my first year trying a vegetable garden. I live in an apartment with a very small (and shady!) balcony, so I have rented a community garden plot for the season.

I have read both Square Foot Gardening books and am really excited about using the method. I plan to start with one 4'x4' bed.

Here is my issue. I can't keep any structures permanently on the plot because it will be plowed under every fall. I am allowed to have raised beds on the plot as long as I remove them in the fall.

I had thought of using the "old" square foot method with beds in the ground, but I do like the raised beds and especially having the grids permanently attached.

If I do raised beds, I don't really mind bringing them every year, although I may buy some of the plastic kind that snap together for that purpose so that it will be easier.

The thing is the soil mix. I would prefer not to have to bring it and mix it every year. And I'm assuming that one of the boxes with plywood bottoms that are used for patios and such would be too heavy to carry out if still filled with soil -- not to mention being pretty hard for me to store in the winter!

So does anyone have any ideas regarding whether it would be feasible to bring and remove the soil every year (I know I probably sound crazy), and how best to accomplish that? For instance, if I lined the area under the box with weed cover, could I dump the soil back into some containers or something to carry out?

Or am I crazy and should I just use in-ground beds -- and if so, is there a good way to make a frame around them that I could use to define the borders and permanently attach a grid to?

Thanks in advance for any help!


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