"If it is meant to be, it is up to me." -William H. Johnsen

Green In The Valley Garden Green In The Valley Garden Green In The Valley Garden Green In The Valley Garden

If Tempe, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler...basically metro Phoenix is to become the Greenest Valley in the USA, then we each need to do our part. Sure we can think big and say we are going to build "Green" both residentially and commercially, and maybe even legislate that it be so. But accountability by each person is what will make the biggest difference. So with that in mind I set off to build our own garden. Nothing complicated, just a garden where I could walk out in our back yard and pick some vegetables for dinner, maybe pick out some fresh flowers to gain favor with the boss.

My research led me to the book, Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew. In it he gives details on how to grow a simple 4' x 4' garden with spots for 12 different vegetables or flowers if one wants. It really is a piece of cake to make. No need to dig up the earth. Just buy Mel's mix, which is sold at most nurseries, even at Home Depot. Basically it takes 5 easy steps:

  1. Trip to nursery for your weed cloth, your soil mixture (3-4 bags of Mel's mix should do it), and pick out seeds of vegetables/flowers you want to grow. I also recommend picking up maybe 3 or 4 already started vegetables. I picked out a small tomato, jalapeno, cucumber, and romain lettuce start ups. It seems to ease our instant gratification these days.
     
  2. Build the garden's walls over weed cloth (4' x 4', and about 6" high out of material laying around in your yard). I had some left over river rock, and some dirt from previous project so I added water and made my own mortar (basically mud and my river rocks to make the garden's walls).
     
  3. Add soil mixture, then divi up the space into 12" x 12" spots.

    Green In The Valley Garden Mixture
     

  4. Plant your seeds and small start up vegetables.
     
  5. Water each day, and enjoy your harvest!

I did have my dog Zoey help out.

I am not sure I saved time, but we had a blast together.

Good luck with your sustainable garden...have fun with your helpers!  Email me your success stories, from the planting to the harvest.

Watch the video of Zoey the helper

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