I combined Square Foot and Deep Bed gardening techniques...
Which resulted in maximum production of food and flower using a minimum space, time, resources and maintenance. It allowed me to have a pretty unique setup in my small yard. I look forward to implementing these techniques when I have some land to work on again.
I worked out several methods of minimizing labor... Using various techniques for automated and unattended watering I increased production of both food and flower allowing more time to enjoy the gardens instead of working on them.
One of the advantages to both the deep bed and square foot methods of gardening is that the desired plants can be placed close enough together so that with the addition of mulch and/or compost most weeds don't stand a chance and are easily spotted if they do come up, making it a simple matter to just pull them. As a general rule I spent less than 20 minutes a week actually 'weeding'.
What I did was wander the yard each morning, enjoying the view, picking a strawberry here and there (I had Alpines planted in little clusters throughout the flower beds to give me a treat as I wandered around) and if I spotted a weed I'd simply pluck it out.
Leave it to the lazy one...
Yep, I said that, but if you say it to me you'd better have a wink in your eye! hehehehe
I put a lot of effort into automating the watering system that I used. But once I had everything completed the chore of watering was no longer a chore. It was a simple task that was completed in just a few minutes each day.
I chose to section out the yard so that I had one area that was done each day. That meant that I only needed to spend 15 or 20 minutes watering. Just a simple task accomplished while wandering around the yard. Enjoying the view and picking the strawberries...
Using a rain gauge to monitor weekly rainfall, supplemental watering to each area was simply a matter of adding to the weeks' rainfall to total the full inch of water required. I used an empty cat food can as my watering gauge. Just about the perfect depth, all I had to do was drop it on the ground and watch the level. Nothing fancy at all.
While my neighbors valiantly sprinkled all their flower beds daily in an effort to keep everything alive... My beds and containers flourished while I got to sit back and enjoy the view.
Definitely my way of gardening!
Want to learn more about square foot gardening? www.squarefootgardening.com