All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition Review

All New Square Foot Gardening

Review of All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition

As of this writing, there are 1,796 customer comments and 0 answered questions for the All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition.  I’ve read the customer feedback, and then condensed the results into this review.  I hope that this helps you when shopping for a gardening book.

Best Fea​tures

  • check Essential guide to growing a square foot garden
  • check Price
  • check Updated version
  • check Colorful images
  • check Available on kindle and paperback

Item Specifics

The All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition is the essential guide to learning how to make a square foot garden.  Square foot gardens are becoming more and more popular, so this book is very handy.  Written by Mel Bartholomew, this book will explain step-by-step how to make the perfect square foot garden for your home.  Beginning his techniques in the 1980s,  Mel has been teaching his methods and tips throughout the world.  As he has done this, he has also made improvements to his practices.

In this book, not only does Mel explain how to make a square foot garden, but he also explains how to make gardening fun for kids by using the square foot garden method.  He also goes over how to keep pests away from your garden, and he has discussed in his book about the new modern way for gardening: vertical gardening. This book is made for both beginners and experts at gardening.  Mel’s new volume on gardening now features colorful pictures, and updated tips.  You can buy this book on kindle, or you can get a paperback book.

Detailed Information About Soil Composition

The All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition has a lot of information on soil composition.  Because soil is where the plants will get their nutrients and water, soil composition is extremely important.  Here is what a customer had to say about the soil information in this book, “One of the key elements of this book is the innovative composition of the soil used in the garden beds. I’ll quote a portion of the book that discusses the ideal soil: “There are three characteristics of a perfect growing mix. First of all, it’s lightweight, so it is easy to work with and easy for plants to grow in. Next, it is nutrient rich and has all the minerals and trace elements that plants need without adding fertilizers. Finally, it holds moisture yet drains well.'”

Some People Adjusted the Advice Given in This Book

Mel Bartholomew’s gardening book provided a base of information for some people who tweaked his methods to fit their needs.  One size will not fit all according to customers who commented.  One customer had this to say, “The book says to use 1/3 vermiculite which might work for growing flowers, herbs, lettuce but next time I will make his mix with only 1/5 vermiculite. I mostly followed his advice about how much you can squeeze into a square foot but green beans did better planted 4 to a square foot rather than 8. We are hoping to build more boxes for next summer. I love this method. I had no weeding!! We ate out of the boxes all summer and had extra to freeze. Plus, I now have fall peas, lettuce, radish, and am making my gardens into green houses to extend my growing into November (I live in Wisconsin). Lastly, I will confess that I also used fertilizer twice, which I was really hoping to avoid. Mel’s info is great in theory but I found it needed adjusting.”

The Kindle Edition Lacks Many Photographs

A complaint about the kindle version of this book is that it lacks a lot of the photographs.  A customer explains, “This is about the Kindle edition of this title: I bought the Kindle edition of this title at the same time that I bought the print edition, so that I could begin reading while I waited for the book to arrive.  As usual, the Kindle edition is a great disappointment.  You will often find that the illustrations that appear in the print edition of many books, just aren’t there in the Kindle editions. I have also purchased Kindle editions of other titles that are filled with typographical errors that do not appear in the print edition, but were introduced into the Kindle edition by use of an electronic scanner and text recognition software to extract an electronic version for Kindle distribution. In the Kindle edition of this book, however, only about 80% of the illustrations are missing, typically providing just the first illustration of each chapter.  All of the captions that appear beneath the illustrations, however, do appear in the Kindle edition, without the actual illustrations, as punishment for having purchased the Kindle edition.”

Costly Method of Gardening

One common complaint was that though this system of gardening works, it is very costly.  You will need to buy the raised bed material and specific soil compositions including vermiculite.  These ingredients can all be very expensive, especially if you would like a large garden.  The topic of expense kept reoccurring.  I’ll quote a customer that articulated this well, “I enjoyed reading this book, and I learned some things. But, this book is all about doing gardening one way, and one way only. If you follow his instructions, you will produce a good garden. But, there is one major point I disagree with. He talks about how his method is cheaper than standard gardening. I priced the cost of “Mel’s Mix”, which is the blend of peat moss, vermiculite, and compost, that he recommends, no, I dare say requires, for a cubic yard (27 cu/ft) of “Mel’ Mix”, which is enough to fill three 4×4 boxes (8cu/ft per box) with a little left over, priced from a local source, it came to $667.71. That’s right, almost seven hundred dollars. If you add the cost of the lumber, landscape fabric, wood lath, and supports and covers, any savings you would have over conventional row gardening will be gone. Yes, your square foot garden will be easier to maintain, but it will not be cheaper. If you live in the ‘Burbs, or have a very small yard, and are not planning on a large garden, go for it, it will work.”

Lots of Information on the “Whys”

There may be more information than some people want or need in this gardening book.  If you are looking for a quick guide or how to book, this may not be a good choice.  A customer explains it this way, “I noticed while reading this book from front to back that the information is a little unorganized or disjointed or something, but it’s not a novel so it’s forgivable I guess. I did really like the chapter that gave Mel’s history and how he started this way of gardening. The charts in the back of the book are a great resource and I use them often along with websites that are specific to my area. I’ve learned a great deal from visiting SFG websites as well as Mel’s website. If you like short and sweet instructions, this might not be helpful to you. If you like more information about the whats and whys, then this is a good book for you.”

All New Square Foot Gardening


  • plus A lot of color photographs
  • plus Good information on soil make-up
  • plus Price


  • close Too much background knowledge for some people
  • close Costly method of gardening
  • close Kindle version is missing a lot of photographs

All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition Conclusion

The All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition has a lot of detailed information about gardening from soil composition to weeding and everything in between.  This is the updated version of the first book.  This method of gardening is costly but according to customers it works well.  In addition to a lot of gardening information , you will also receive many full color photographs.  However, a common complaint about the Kindle version was that a lot of the photographs were not included.  If you are wanting all of the  photographs, make sure to buy the hardcover version and not the Kindle version. The book contains 272 pages of material broken up into 11 chapters.  Keep in mind that this book includes a lot of the “Whys” and background information on the author.  If you want a straightforward “How To” book, you will have to weed through a lot of other information.  All in all, for the price, you will be getting a lot of information for your money.  The All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition is priced well for what you will receive.  

Common Questions

Here are some top questions that I found for people considering buying All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition.

  • chevron-circle-right Has Mel Bartholomew written any other books?  Yes, he has written several other gardening books.  Here is the list of his books: Beete im Quadrat, Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work, Square Metre Gardening, All New Square Foot Gardening, All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!, All New Square Foot Gardening Cookbook, Cash from Square Foot Gardening, Square Foot Gardening High-Value Veggies, Square Foot Gardening Answer Book, Square Foot Gardening, Square Foot Gardening with Kids, and All New Square Foot Gardening Second Edition.
  • chevron-circle-right How many pages are in this book?  There are 272 pages in this book.
  • chevron-circle-right How many chapters are in this book?  There are 11 chapters in the All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition.

Related Article: Best Gardening Books: Top 10 to Choose on Amazon Today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts