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In 1976, Mel Barthomew introduced us to his method of gardening:intensive, space saving, raised bed, no weeding in one square foot! Since then many gardeners have embraced the method and tweaked it to their own area.

A great option is to reuse milk crates as the ‘bed’, and line it with a material to hold the soil such as ‘Smart Pots’, landscape fabric or burlap.Fill the crate with good potting soil(not garden soil) and plant according to the chart below. Stack them, group them in a row or stagger them around your yard. Most vegetables require full sun (minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight)to flourish. With any container garden, consistent watering is important. As your garden grows, the plants will need regular fertilizer as they use up what was originally in the soil. Adding an organic slow release balanced fertilizer for vegetables three times through the growing season is usually enough. Tall growing plants like tomatoes may require support once the fruit starts to mature. Adding these supports when you first plant will be much easier than trying to fit the support over a large plant without breaking any branches.

In one square foot of a milk crate, you can grow any one of these:

*Crate garden design diagram courtesy of River Park Farm, New York City

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