No yard needed for new method of gardening

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A community group has launched an effort to help families and neighborhoods all over Utah grow their own gardens. Now is the time, they say, with economic and environmental concerns, and you don't even need a "green thumb" or a yard.

The owners of an Ogden coffee shop decided they could make something more productive than a drive-through window. "For us, I think it's about building community. And what better way to do that than with a community garden?" co-owner Suzy Dailey said.

That's the attitude members of a nonprofit group hope to cultivate as they host a series of gardening summits.

"It's bringing people together for a positive benefit, whether it's to help raise crops for poor people or to just to get to know your neighbor, get to know your community members," said Ogden resident Nelda McClaskey.

Along with their back-to-basics message, they offer a whole new approach called "square foot gardening." The demonstration video shows, instead of rows, gardens growing in boxes, and gardeners don't even need a yard or tools.

"It's a method that is so simple and so easy, and so foolproof," said Mel Bartholemew, creator of square foot gardening.

He says there is one aspect of square foot gardening that most appeals to people: with a special soil mixture, there's no weeding, no fertilizers.

Gardens can help family budgets, the environment and who knows, maybe even the coffee business. "It pulls people together," store co-owner Dan Dailey said.

If you want to try your hand at square foot gardening this spring, you can visit You can also learn more about the group's gardening summits by sending an e-mail to


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Nadine Wimmer


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