One of my garden experiments was the idea of using plastic tubs designed for mixing concrete as a container garden. I knew that they were going to be marginally shallow, being only about 8 – 9 inches deep, but I read in Mel Bartholomew’s book 1, All New Square Foot Gardening book that 6″ of good soil was plenty. Wrong. While small plants did well in this when they were young, as they grew larger, their roots were drawing all the moisture out of the limited volume of growing mixture. I followed “Mel’s Mix” to the letter, and later soil testing showed it to be far too “hot” for garden use. In addition, I followed the plant spacing guide in the book; in fact, in most cases I planted fewer than were recommended. I could soak the garden in the morning, and by late afternoon, it would be dry as dust. That is clearly not an acceptable gardening method. While that book does have some great information and I would recommend owning a copy, do not take everything in there as being well tested and working for your situation. Always do your own testing, take careful notes, have your growing mixture (or soil) tested, and get to know the folks at your county agriculture center.
- All New Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew, Page 31 ↩