How to apply the 80/20 principle to gardening in a small space

vegetable garden Alix Marina @ dollarphotoclub
vegetable garden Alix Marina @ dollarphotoclub

No space for a garden?

Over thirty years ago, Mel Bartholemew devised a system of gardening which enabled him to yield over 80 percent of his crops of vegetables and flowers from 20 per cent of the area normally required for traditional gardening methods.This gardening example (loosely applied) of Pareto’s 80/20 principle,like so many things of genius, was derived from a simple concept.Mel has continued to experiment and improve his way of gardening in a limited space using small square foot plots to the present day.

All New Square Foot Gardening:The Revolutionary Way to Grow More in Less Space was first published by Mel in 1981.His book became a million copy seller in the US.Its success led Mel to travel widely over the following years successfully promoting his way of gardening.A 2nd edition incorporating many significant changes from the original version has now been published and provides full and clear instructions with drawings and photos on how to plan and plant a garden, and set-up the required grid box structures. His movable garden beds can now be brought nearer to house or apartment and he still adopts a raised bed 4ft x 4ft grid system.

From the efficiencies of his garden designs the key benefits are-

  • only inexpensive materials required
  • weeding and fertilisation are minimised
  • lower cost of seed and plants than for traditional methods
  • ability to introduce a great variety of of flowers and vegetables
  • easy access to to all growing areas for tending and harvesting
  • easy control of pest and animal threat to the garden plants
  • low maintenance and need for only small garden tools
  • flowers and decorative plants can quickly add colour and beauty to any outdoor area

How the Book is organised

  • Introduction
  • Square Foot Gardening
  • Plan Your Garden
  • Building Boxes and Structures
  • Essentials for SFG Success
  • How To Plant Your All New SFG
  • Growing and Harvesting
  • Vertical Gardening
  • Extending the Seasons
  • Special Gardens & Gardeners

Appendices provide planting charts and schedules,plant details,herbs and flowers,vegetables and more tip sheets to aid you in your planning and garden preparation.

Who benefits

This way of gardening has obvious benefit for all but can provide an abiding interest and a lifestyle benefit to older people and those with limited physical abilities.Those who do not have much space for a garden but would like both to grow their own produce and to enjoy looking at flowers and plants close by through the seasons will find Mel’s system the solution and a joy. No great skills are required.Mel takes the reader through every stage to success.His methods are simple and clearly explained, and the numerous illustrations make them easy to follow.

Gardening for life

The idea of gardening is very appealing and many people set-out with great zeal to cultivate but few often stay the course to make it a way of life.Traditional gardening with a larger area to work, and the heavy work of tilling soil, frequent weeding and pest control can dampen the enthusiasm of the most ardent would-be gardner. All New Square Foot Gardening embodies a simple concept, but decades of process development,knowledge and experience have been distilled to provide an easy to follow gardening experience anyone can enjoy.

You can have a copy of All New Square Foot Gardening: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space delivered to your home or to your Kindle reader (please note: if you buy through this link the60life will earn a small commission)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *