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Decorate Your SFG!

Happy Holidays! We wanted to share an oldie but a goodie from Mel Bartholomew, creator and founder of Square Foot Gardening. He always liked to encourage people to decorate their Square Foot Gardens. Here’s how he says to do it:

Straight from Mel:

Do you decorate your house for the holiday season?  Do you put up lights and figures and make landscaped attractions so all the neighbors to enjoy as they walk past your house?  Do you do so much decorating that you might be the cause of a traffic jam in your neighborhood?

Well I’m going to show you how you can do the same thing with your Square Foot Garden.  Those of you that have your boxes in your front yard will be way ahead of your neighbors.  If your garden is outside your back door and visible from your kitchen window, you’re still going to get to enjoy it continually.  You may not even want to take your decorations down!

When do most people take the tree and Christmas decorations down?  I remember in my family we always had different opinions.  “Leave it up, leave it up! It’s so pretty!” Dad would always say, “Take it down! Take it down! It’s dropping too many needles.”  Well, if you have a decorated SFG out in your yard you have that same choice of leaving it up all winter or taking it down and letting the snow fly.

Here’s the picture.  Let’s look out your window and see your boxes, which hopefully are clean and debris free with buckets put inside.  Some like to take their vertical frames down and hang them in their garage, as well as the grid(s).  Others leave them up all winter.  A compromise would be to take them down and hang them on a couple of nails on your wooden fence or hooks in your chainlink fence.  That makes the garden look much neater.

How To Do It

Now here’s the decorating idea.  Think of your boxes as potential gift boxes.  I know some people who have bought colored sheets and blankets at a yard sale, placed them over their SFG boxes, weighted them down with bricks or stapled the cloth to the sides of the box, then with either large rope or ribbons, made them into a gift box.  You could tuck a few pine branches and cones into the ribbons and you now have a very festive outdoor winter garden.

Another idea would be to put a few corn stalk bundles either standing up in the center of a box or laid down.  If you left your vertical frames up, they also could be easily decorated by weaving pine boughs in between the netting.  I know one family that hung a bird feeder as well as pine cones filled with peanut butter onto their vertical frame.  This adds to the daytime enjoyment of your winter SFG.  Kids will love to participate in this planning this new creation.

I have even had people write and tell me that they ran a waterproof extension cord out to the garden (and you can do this because a SFG should be close to the house) and they strung lights on their vertical frame and around their decorated boxes.


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