Square foot gardening first came to prominence in the ‘70’s when many back-to-the-landers, most of whom grew up in the burbs and knew nothing about growing something to eat, decided to become self-sustaining. Tilling, planting and cultivating rows of vegetables turned out to require more space and labor than these new mini-farmers had anticipated, which is one thing that made square foot gardening so appealing. It shares the interplanting principle with the French intensive method, which at the time was also gaining adherents for its big production in a relatively small space. But SFG was simpler and far less backbreaking than the double-digging usually suggested in French intensive gardening.
The SFG Answer Book is straightforwardly laid out and combines answers to the questions author Mel Bartholomew has been fielding since publishing his first book on SFG in 1981. It offers practical advice for planning, constructing and maintaining your own square foot garden, regardless of where you live. Chapters include Planning and Locating Your Square Foot Garden, Building Your SFG Boxes, Planting and Harvesting, Working with Mel’s Mix (the growing medium aka soil), Dealing with Pests and Problems, and Making a Difference with SFG. (Bartholomew created the Square Foot Gardening Foundation, a nonprofit that spreads the message of SFG through humanitarian projects throughout the world in an effort to end world hunger.).