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Anyone do Jeff Ball's 60 Min Garden method? — The Grow Network Community
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Anyone do Jeff Ball's 60 Min Garden method?

I'm reading his book now. It is basically a combo of French-Bio intensive ("How to Grow More Food....") and "Square Foot Gardening. Interestingly though, it seems to have predated the Square Foot System. He uses raised beds with double digging, and all kinds of good season extenders, trellises, etc. If so, how was your experience? How does the production compare with his averages? Is it worth the cost as opposed to just doing flat double dug beds? I want to begin market gardening next year and am comparing systems.


  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 1,301 admin

    PS. Jeff Ball's system is called "60 min Garden" because it is supposed to take 10 min a day, 6 days a week, to grow enough veg for a family of 4 in 200 sq ft. So, that is a big claim! He also used drip irrigation and black plastic. I don't need any irrigation, since I live in a temperate rainforest (270+ days of rain/snow a year and lots of fog) in the southern Appalachians. I will use clear plastic row covers, but I'd rather not do the black "plastic mulch". I think a thin layer of composted manure would do the same and offer some nutrients.

  • nksunshine27nksunshine27 IdahoPosts: 259 ✭✭✭

    I havent tried his method yet but i have been doing the no till method and that seems to work good for less weeds i wont use plastic or tires in my garden,

  • deejcvedeejcve Posts: 10 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for sharing this information. Now, I'm ready to look that book up and read it to see if it has possibilities for me.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 1,301 admin

    It is good - I'm reading it now. I got a copy on ebay for $3.99 with free shipping (which is always cool). Andy Lee listed it as a resource in his market gardening book, along with Mel Bartholomew's book.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 1,301 admin

    Oh, I made a mistake. Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening was published just a bit before Jeff Ball's book. So, maybe Mel influenced Ball? Who knows. But basically you can think of the Ball "60 min" method as double dug raised beds.

  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 865 admin

    HI @judsoncarroll4 so excited about you becoming a market gardener! We need more of those. I trust you'll be posting updates as you go. 😉

    I hadn't ever heard o Ball before...

    THis season in COlorado I've been growing in 2 raised beds about 100 sq. ft. total? Maybe less. See the Adventures in High Performance gardening" series that Lynn Gillespie and I are doing together.

    Wow, the production has been amazing - started with amazing quality soil of course.

    That garden in thos two beds (after we;ve gotten it setup) has taken less, much less, than 10minutes per day.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 1,301 admin
    edited October 2019

    Yes ma'am, the property I am considering in East TN has great soil and plenty of rain. I'll get a slow start, not being able to get things prepared this fall. But, next year I plant to begin implementing everything I've learned in Permaculture along with the southern homestead farming (somewhere between Jefferson and the Foxfire books) I grew up with - market garden/CSA veggies, orchard and berries, growing medicinal herbs and tons of mushrooms for sale, nursery, flowers, livestock, eggs, sourdough bread, fermented beverages, pickles, kraut, tempeh, miso, etc... working toward a small kitchen, since I make a good bit of my living as a cook... eventually, wine, cider and cheese, ponds, fish, frogs, crawfish, grains.... etc, etc....... big plans, with a very reasonable schedule to implement a bit each year. I'll probably even build some cabins and domes and smoke houses, cellars, etc - I like doing such things. I can make a decent living publishing local magazines, cooking an playing music, so I don't have to stress too much on income, since I avoid debt like the plague and grow my own food, drink and medicine. I'll gladly document it all if it can help others.

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