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One magic square - Lolo Houbein

Posted: Wed May 12, 2010 7:58 am
by Alienor60
Despite the title this book isn't just a follower of SquareFootGardening but much more better.
It encourages the beginner to start with only one squaremeter (easy to clear up) and about 20something plans of what to seed/plant in there. And then add the next square, and maybe another one, and so on...
But it's not only for beginners, it shares a lot of knowledge about the soil, compost, water, plants and the environment, and the author lays stress on selfsufficiency, due to her own experience at the end of WW II.
It's great book for ishers.
(sorry for my poor english).

Re: One magic square - Lolo Houbein

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:49 am
by homegrown
I concur it was a great book to read, but the most shocking part was the intro where she recalls much of her village starving due to know food, you can imagine this would empower someone to ensure it never happened again. I think the reason so few people have vege gardens is they are mislead by the apparent ease at which they can aquire food from the shops, and never assume that at some point it may no longer be available.

Even here in New Zealand friends of ours live in a small town that usually gets snowed in for about three weeks at a time, and they almost always lose powere on top of this. if you don't grow your own or keep good supplies well, you go hungry or run out of wood.

Lolo's book reinforced with me the need to be as self-sufficient as possible and provided a way for those with small amounts of land to still do so. :salute:

Re: One magic square - Lolo Houbein

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:38 am
by snapdragon
Thank you for posting this. With limited space it could be something that would help me :iconbiggrin:

Marianne your english is perfectly fine - Viel besser als meine Deutsch.

Re: One magic square - Lolo Houbein

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:03 am
by Monique
Hello, I saw your posts on Lolo's One Magic Square and have been wanting some advice on this. I am very new to gardening and have recently purchased Lolo's book to use as a guide.

During Summer (Adelaide SA) I didn't follow the book but planted lettuces, tomatoes and some other salad's. I now want to follow the book as i want to be guided and don't know much about crop rotation etc. I have three 1x1m plots to use from now on.

In part one of the book it says to start with a salad plot (during summer) then move onto the broadbean plot in Autumn to give nitrogen to the soil. What if i don't want to plant braodbeans? Can i jump to the next plot which is The Anti-Oxidants plot (spring, summer, Autumn), or even the Curry Plot (Autumn & Winter).

I am just a little confused as to how to follow the book. If anyone could advise me that would be great. Please take into consideration i am only very new at growing vegies, herbs so nothing to technical please....hehe


Re: One magic square - Lolo Houbein

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:39 am
by the.fee.fairy
Hi Monique Welcome to Ish

Try posting in the growing forum - there's plenty of people there to help :)

You don't have to plant broad beans to fix the nitrogen, you can plant peas as well. I can't remember all the nitrogen fixing plants (not been planting for a few years :() But i'm sure there's a list online somewhere.

The main thing is to keep rotating the plots every year. Look at what families the vegetables are in. For example: tomatoes and potatoes are the same family, so don't plant them in the same plot one after the other. This can lead to blight.

Have a look at some other self sufficiency books and scale down what they do to what you have. Most of all: experiment! The thing with growing veg is that you can't really do too much damage, the worst that will happen is that you'll get a plant disease, or something won't grow. So experiment. Have a look at what your neighbours grow to get some idea of what will grow best in your area.