Recently, I was a guest on Cory Farley’s radio show on KBZZ in Reno, Nevada, to talk about my vegetable garden growing on my back porch. It’s called “square foot gardening.” Not as ambitious as our First Lady’s gardening efforts but still will harvest a load of vegetables.

You begin with two 8 X 12 pieces of untreated lumber. You don’t want chemicals to leach into the soil. Cut in half. If you ask, the lumber business will probably do it for you. Now you have four pieces of wood, each 4 X 4, 12 inches width. Nail the pieces together to form a square—that’s your four square planting box. Set on a 4 X 4 sheet of plywood that you drilled three holes in for drainage. Set the planting box where you want to grow your vegetables. Fill with a mixture of topsoil and organic potting soil.

Before I start planting, I line three pieces of string down and three pieces of string across to divide the planting into 16 squares. I now begin to plant: tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, green peas, carrots and broccoli. I plant these vegetables because, not only are they my favorite vegetables, but I harvest so many that I freeze what I don’t eat. I am saving money by eating vegetables long after the growing season is over.

I freeze the tomatoes whole, uncooked, to use in recipes later. The bell peppers---green, yellow, and red---I wash, core, and freeze uncooked. The others I blanch in boiling water for a few minutes, and then freeze.

It really is so easy. Give square foot gardening a try. You’re not only saving money, but you’re eating the tastiest vegetables possible.

By: Sandy Powers

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