Mel is the Man!

You will never need another gardening book.

mel bartholomew

Just this one and Google (for searching anything you can dream up).  The image above is from Amazon, of course.

Mel.  :)


Mel Bartholomew is the father of smart gardening. And how you can grow more veggies in less space with way less work and we all need to know these things!

I hated vegetable gardening as a kid.  Can you believe that?

But one day, I decided that I had had enough of grocery store tomatoes.  I couldn’t quit thinking of summers at my Aunt Rosie’s.  Her redwood-stained picnic table was loaded daily with her freshest picks from the garden.  We ate corn on the cob, green beans cooked with bacon and juicy hamburgers.  But the piece de resistance was the tomato.  The tomato in her garden was the queen.  She cut huge slabs of beefsteak tomatoes, red through and through and passed the platter, then the salt.  And the tingling, tart-sweet explosion on your tongue – well, you had to be there.

So when my kids were all teenagers, I became a gardener.  I decided to grow tomatoes and green beans and baby zucchini, plucked and grilled while tiny and delectable instead of waiting for them to become brick bats and then running out of friends and relatives to pawn them on.  I decided to be a gardener.

And glory be, I found THIS book at the library.

square foot gardening

This was Mel’s original Square Foot Gardening book

I shudder to think what my experience may have been had it not been for Mel Bartholomew.  Because even though I had actually checked about 16 gardening books out at once,his message sounded truer than any of the others, logical, just made sense.  It was simple and doable and I took 37.42 pages of notes on his book.

square foot garden

An I had THE MOST amazing garden.  I had a huge yard back then and threw garden boxes in all over the place.  I even had room for more than 20 tomato plants.  I had harvest coming out my ears of everything I grew: okra, swiss chard, lettuces, peppers of every color, 4 or 5 types of radish, corn, mini-corn, watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries and grapes – everything you could imagine – but mostly, tomatoes.

aunt rosie

My Aunt Rosie, right

My Aunt Rosie and I talked on the phone a lot that year and exchanged letters excitedly sharing that day’s harvest, “Well, today I got about 16 beefsteak tomatoes, a bowl full of cherry and half a basket of plum.  The parsley and basil are running wild.  I have a large pot of green beans on the stove for dinner.”  We loved sharing the great good news of the garden.

Square-Foot Gardening – Grow More in Less Space

I checked Mel’s book out regularly for the first few years, each January.  Imagine my delight when I walked in to the library annual book sale a few years down the road and there it was for 10-cents.  How truly fortuitous. I have THE orginal book from which I was first inspired to garden and LOVE it!

square foot garden

And now Mel has made it even easier. I got his newer book just last summer.  The charts, wisdom, the inspiration, the cheering on – all of it.  THE only book you’ll ever really need.  But I am keeping both of mine!  :)

SFG!  All the way.  Check it out.


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