Ruth Stout vs. raised beds vs. sq ft gardening

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by blhmabbott, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. blhmabbott

    blhmabbott We're gettin' there!

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    Well, after reading my newest selection of books from the library, I'm beginning to wonder if I chose the right kind of gardening technique for living in town. If anyone is familiar with all three of these gardening styles, what would your opinion be of combining all of them into one? My line of thinking: plant my raised beds is the sq ft style and just mulch everything like Ruth does. Should work, right? I planted my raised beds a couple weeks ago, but got gung ho about it and planted them to soon. The summer weather decided to come back and spoil my plans lol. I can also put down mulch now around my fences and plant some of my climbing veggies there next year shouldn't I, without having to till? I would LOVE to turn the entire back yard into nothing but sq ft gardens, but then the kids wouldn't have any place to play. Any thoughts/suggestions from you wonderful folks? Thanks!
    Heather
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Sounds to me like a plan! I always take what I can use from each book I read and combine them into what works best for me in a particular situation.
     

  3. Dinghy

    Dinghy Guest

    I used the Ruth Stout method this year and am very happy with it. I haven't really had to weed at all and I haven't watered the garden either. We had a lot of rain so they made a difference too. I think it would work great in a raised bed garden.







     
  4. tambo

    tambo Well-Known Member

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    Heather I bought Ruth Stouts book,Square Foot Gardening and Lasagna Gardening all this year.Actually I just got the square foot gardening this week but I just took what I learned from them and used what I wanted to where I wanted to.Mainly it helped out with the weeds and watering.I really like all the methods.I'm going to try the square foot next year for more production.I have a small garden 25x20.I planted in rows so I could get the tiller between them when the grass started to come up.After everything got big I used the grass from the yard between the rows.I made one raised bed and really like it.I'm going to try to make the whole garden raised beds next year because the lower part of the garden gets washed out by running water when it rains.I would like to start another garden using Ruth's method.It said it takes 3 yrs to get it where you can just pull the mulch back to plant so I might start that this fall when everything else slows down.I will do the raised beds alittle at a time this fall to be ready for next year.I have clay also.Check your landfill for mulched leaves.Ours give them away but you have to load them.I happen to have a friend that works at ours and she loaded some for me.Also check at a cotton gin near you.Ours will load the rotten hulls for $5 a scoop.That is the best stuff but you do get weeds that come up in it but you can use mulch for that.Sounds like everything is going great for you.Happy Gardening.

    Tambo
     
  5. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    I found that if I actually followed the directions as far as the suggested spacing for square foot gardening, there was no need for mulch as the weeding was almost non-existent. My long term goal is to get my square foot part of the garden into raised beds and use the Stout method of mulch for the things like corn and some of the bigger vine crops.

    I have never, until this year, actually gone the whole way with the square foot method and I can not imagine that I would ever garden any other way after this wonderful experience. I started small, 56 square feet, but the ease of care and the wonderful harvest has got me building more beds for next year.
     
  6. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    I'm another square. If you follow the recommendations as to soil composition and spacing, there are no weeds, or dang few weeds to worry about. Nor do you have to worry about watering on a horribly specific basis.

    This is my nearly completed third year as a square footer, formerly Stouter and Lasagna gardener.

    Read that Square Foot book and put things in motion. I can't ever see going back.

    If I had only one complaint, it would be that he has made gardening too easy! I care for less than a tenth of the ground that I used to for a tenth of the work, which if your math is like mine, 10x10=100% or no work at all. It's nothing but fun!
     
  7. blhmabbott

    blhmabbott We're gettin' there!

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    Thanks for the input!

    Neither the sq ft or raised bed method will give me enough veggies for me to produce a year's worth for my family (i.e. canning and freezing) in my limited amount of space, so I'm just trying to figure out which method will give me the most in the least amount of space.

    "If you follow the recommendations as to soil composition and spacing, there are no weeds, or dang few weeds to worry about."

    This is a good point that I didn't realize, thank you :) .

    If it ever quits raining, I'm going to lay the beds out in the sq ft method and go from there, and start mulching around the chail link fence for next summer tomatoes, cukes, etc. Thanks again guys!
    Heather
     
  8. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    You may be really surprised at what you can grow in such a small space. I know Mel stresses it, but you really have to grid your growing area. I just use string and staple it to the bed frame.

    Once you have it all gridded you'll look at it and think, now what am I going to plant in ALL that space?
     
  9. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I don't know what you call what I did in my raised bed, but it's some crazy combination of lasagna, Ruth Stout and intensive gardening (which I'm guessing might be similar to square foot gardening?).

    I am VERY VERY pleased. I have six tomato plants, 10+ echinaceas, a ton of sage, two types of basil, thyme and some other things I don't remember in a very tiny space --- maybe 2' x 5'. Everything is thriving. :) And no weeds.

    I'm off to read about square foot gardening now. :yeeha: My plans were for a larger lasagna-Stout-intensive veggie garden for next year, and maybe the sq foot approach would work best.