This article wasn’t written as a guide for those that have a large area to cultivate, and it isn’t intended for the use of professional market gardener, but meant to meet the needs of the beginner, or amateur, and especially those that have limited space available for this purpose.
Few people realize the possibilities a small piece of ground can give in the backyard of the ordinary city lot not occupied by buildings. Too often this part of the yard left vacant or worse made the depository of junk of all sorts. Such accumulations are unsightly. The Sandwich System described in this article isn’t an idle theory but a successful, solid fact, the result of years of careful, painstaking experiments, and highly successful efforts in practical vegetable growing.
This method was first suggested by noticing the marvelous growth of weeds, wild flowers, etc., about the base of an old, decaying straw heap, where some stable manure had been dumped on a thin layer of straw. On this more straw was scratched down by poultry. Last, a few truck loads of street-scrapings, containing weed seeds, were dumped on top. The growth of these weeds was something astounding. With this hint for a beginning, the very successful Sandwich Bed was developed.
The surpassing vigor of growth, the earliness, large size, and superior quality of the products grown by this method, make gardening a very fascinating pass time, and it can’t be denied that the ability to out do “The Other Guy” gives especial gratification to those creating this type of garden.
Where the space is limited, only a few plants should be attempted. It doesn’t require a large area to grow a few tomatoes, muskmelons, cauliflower or egg plant. Or a bed of lettuce, spinach or green onions.
Space Required: Five square yards or a space of ground, say ten by twenty feet, can be made to produce a large part of all the vegetables needed to supply the table of a family of five or six persons, throughout the season.
A love for digging in the soil seems inherent in most people. Try it, and you’ll soon learn to look forward with anticipation of the hour before breakfast, in the cool, dewy mornings, and the hour after supper, when the heat of the day is over, that you may spend in the light work of planting, hoeing and watering. Watching the growth and development of the plants is a constant source of joy and delight. You forget your cares and worries, and gather new courage for tomorrow.
Amateur Gardening appeals to most of us in a way that is totally unlike any other hobby. The liking for the work seems intuitive: perhaps because it brings us very close to nature; possibly because there seems in the human mind a lingering memory of the Lost Eden. At any rate, this desire and taste for gardening is universal, and deserves to be encouraged, for it tends to tranquillity of mind, and is conducive both to health and longevity.