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Why not grow a regular vegetable garden?

This traditional vegetable garden looks pretty romantic, doesn't it?
A romantic edible garden in the town of Warffum
Large back yard vegetable gardens like this one are becoming increasingly rare. Growing your vegetables like this takes hours of hard work every day. Plus you need a lot of room to grow.

Even still, vegetable gardening is back in fashion right now. A lot of community gardens have waitlists here in the Netherlands.

In Groningen, you see these kinds of gardens a lot. With plots full of rows of vegetables, square patches with potatoes, cabbages, leeks and beans, greenhouses, growing tunnels, and so on.

And a lot of weeds too 😉
A community garden in Winsum with rows of vegetables - and weeds

Mel Bartholomew

Mel Bartholomew, the creator of Square Foot Gardening, managed a community garden like this in the 1980s. He soon had a few questions:
  • Why do you add fertilizer and dig up the entire plot if you only use 25% for planting vegetables?
  • Why do you sow whole bags of seed if you have to remove most of the seedlings later?
  • Why is it that you spend most of your time in a vegetable garden fighting weeds?
  • Why do you sow in rows?
  • Why do you sow more than you can eat?
And so on and so on. He couldn't find good answers to these questions, so he developed a new way to grow vegetables:

Square Foot Gardening

Mel's approach is exactly the opposite.

Instead of growing in the ground, you grow in garden boxes. You don't sow in rows but in square patches. That's smart, efficient, and much easier.

I based the Planty Gardening system on this method.

My garden looks different from the 1 above but is - in my opinion - just as beautiful:
The Planty Garden outside our offices
I spend most of my time there sowing, planting and harvesting vegetables: the fun stuff.


If you ask me why I don't have a regular vegetable garden, I usually say that I'm just too lazy for that. I don't feel like digging, sweating and weeding constantly. I don't have time for that either.

A Planty Garden means you get to skip the time-consuming hard work and get straight to the fun stuff: sowing, harvesting, and watching your plants grow into an edible paradise. Sounds nice, right? 😉

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