Here’s the RAW episode of my interview with innovative Seeding Square inventor Jill Pratt! I edited while driving today so the show notes are a bit raw to say the least. And I cut out a few major mess-ups in the audio but other then that it’s just live!
- Simplifies planting process
- Save money on food bills
- Can double or triple the harvest
- Optimizes & organizes garden space
- Weeds are fewer & easier to identify
- Gives depth accuracy for seed holes
- Plants grow in beautiful uniform grids
- Planting is done quickly
- Great for teaching kids & new gardeners
- Spoon & funnel great for kids & seniors
Features of the Seeding Square
- Color coded for simple planting
- Space is optimized for each plant type
- Leaves perimeter impressions in the soil
- Magnetized to the Wand/Spoon
- Small profile for easy storage
- Comes in a reusable storage bag
- All materials used are RoHS compliant
Tell me about your first gardening experience?
Actually I grew up in Alberta, my mom always had a vegetable garden
I was a big fan of
- the peas
- the carrots and
- the strawberries
She liked that!
as an adult I didn’t have a garden
I was very career focused
- time to put in our own,
- dug out a piece of the lawn and
- put in our own garden
had a lot of fun
in the end
all these little sprouts started coming up
didn’t know what was a weed and
We had a good time but didn’t grow as many vegetables as we had hoped
So we do have the family gardening background!
I know listeners are going this woman has the answer to my prayers because I’ve had that problem!
Do you want to tell listeners what is a seeding square they’re probably like what is a seeding square?
What happened is
after our first year we decided we’d be a little more systematic
we went into our local
whatever tool there is to make gardening simple
- to simplify the process of growing your own food in the background
hunting around on social media
came across square foot gardening
really liked the spacing system that square foot gardening has
x number of plants per square foot
in our case we didn’t have a garden box
- you lay out a grid formation
- poke x number of holes
didn’t have the set up to put in this whole grid set up
we ended up making a whole bunch of spacing jigs based off the square foot gardening
grew so much food it was unbelievable
if they don’t know of square foot gardening
- it’s high yield gardening
- it’s being spaced and optimized and utilized
- perks is that you don’t get weeds
we couldn’t believe how much food!
My husband said:
“I dropped the ball and you have obviously been on it!”
I was just gonna same thing
- plants were still small but
- once your plants get a little bigger
- you don’t get a lot of weeds
- our jigs got super high yield
- low maintenance
- new gardeners
kept having friends and neighbors
your garden looks amazing
everything with jigs
everything comes in laser beam straight rows
makes weeding a non-issue
such little time
so obvious it takes no time
our ahha moment came because we had all these different jigs
Friends and family
One square foot Jig
and stacked them all together and realized none of the wholes were overlapping each other. We thought if we could color code this we could combine all the jigs into one unit and we could offere this to teh world!
Growing food should be something everyone should be able to do and it should be simple to do! And we could help others like we helped us!
What’s a jig? is it paper? metal? Wood?
we had some made out of wood
1/4 inch thick and a foot by a foot
what extra features can we add to make it more user friendly
leaves and impression
takes away the need for stick and strings
spacing for Square Foot Gardening without the need of sticks and strings
we said ok, trying to figure out depths of the seeds
- how deep does it need to be
- made this little wand
- depth measurements
at the end of it
there’s a little spoon
That was the other things all these seeds going places they shouldn’t
little scoop lets you get seeds out of the package
holes are small for getting the seeds in
that clicks into the funnel
put them into the holes
it’s so user friendly there’s lots of kids using it in schools and we’re just thrilled it’s fantastic!
we’ve also found too that seniors fine motor skills can be difficult
Seniors are also having success with it because their dexterity can be fading…
Mel Bartholomew is a civil engineer, but he passed just shy of 2 years ago
We came up with everything his premise
- high yield gardening
- utilizing all our space
- we got our premise from
did our crowdfunding to raise funds to make the product and molds.
Mel Bartholomew we reached out to in our process of bringing seeding square to the world
hope for the best
marketing is a process
I was at the grocery store and ironically I was buying produce and my phone rang he was like hi this is Mel Bartholemew he loved it the concept that could bring spacing and simplify the process and in talks in how to integrate with his process
it is nice to know it gave his seal of approval
has been around for quite a while
working in a small space
the amount of produce you can get
2 different approaches but same premise.
Isn’t part of it some companion planting about what works together.
We actually made on our website we have obviously lots of pictures and everything
the seeding square comes with the color coded planting guide
On the website you can print off the instructions
in case the planting guide gets wet as tends to happen
companion planting guide chart
There is also the companion planting guide chart reference tool
see what plants are good beside each other
want to know why what’s good together
A quick reference tool
want to know what’s good beside each other
make it just that much easier.
That’s another thing I hate carrot seeds for there’s the inevitable carrots. Also in the beginning you end up squishing things that create an overgrown jungle.
Yes, things do end up like a jungle. This is high yield gardening.
this is truly the spacing that the plants thrive
And it works like in Texas or Alaska…
2 different climates
It is planting a garden not rocket science!
It’s your garden so use it how it works for you.
I was looking at your FAQ’s
6.) Will I get as many vegetables out of my garden if I use a Seeding Square? Yes! In fact you’ll get 2-5 times the harvest as compared to traditional row gardening. If you get more than you bargained for … Share the wealth! I bet you have some friends, family and neighbors that would love to help you out with your fresh home-grown garden bounty.
I like that.
It truly simplifies it. I maybe would have called it Gardening for Dummies
Makes it simple for anyone regardeless of expereience or age level.
Now when you started out with these rigs you had all these diffrerent ones for each vegetable.
how it works
there’s 4 different spaces.
a big orange hole that’s for larger plants if oyou look on the guide that’s for bigger plants like the brocolli or brussell sprouts.
Look on the chart and see lettuce is in the blue box
Each press of the square only planting one type of vegetable
That’s one thing…
I’ve seen a lot of new gardeners who plant every hole in each press but that’s not how it works, it ends up being plant ware fare
each press you are only planting one type of vegetable
mini square foot gardens
square foot of
- you want to do a row
- next one is carrots
companion chart is checked
it works well for rotation gardening different plants have different growing time
quicker or slower rate of maturation
That’s what I was wondering now it’s making sense to me
carrots are gonna call dibs on their square foot for the 60-90 days it takes them to do their thing,
radishes or lettuce it’s rapid fire you put them in pull them out a few weeks later.
even increases yield more
as soon as you pull out your square foot you can turn around and plant it with whatever is next on your list!
keeps all of our garden being productive all season long!
It’s gonna go great with my garden planner!
Yes they’re companion products for each other!
That’s what was getting to me! I never knew what was a weed.
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Now Let’s Get to the Root of Things!
Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden now that you don’t have to do much weeding?
That was my biggest beef in the first year, I couldn’t tell what was a weed
half the time I’d leave the weeds fine half the time I was pulling out things that should be pulling out things that should stay put
I get nervous, one year I dug up all Mike’s echinaceas he planted for me.
to gardening pros
they’rre all little green plants they don’t come with labels
some years chances are things will get left behind
pull out things you shouldn’t
that was my number one beef
I was super happy we were able to get th
What is your favorite activity to do in the garden.
eating all the vegetables
- pulling a fresh carrot
- hosing it off and
- munching it in the garden
nothing tastes better
- sun-warmed strawberry
just being out there!
- just puttering in the garden
don’t always get as much time as I would like
during planting and I’m selling seeding squares!
I do get out to the garden
and it’s nice to come back to zen
- be one with the earth and dirt
I love that! Since my audience is made up of entrepreneurial visionaries do you have any marketing advice or business advice for someone with a new product?
I’d say prepare for a journey
it won’t happen overnight
we came up with this about 31/2 years ago
we started right off wanted to get it [patented
it takes a while
to have my final finished 20 year utility patent
what you’re inventing
something that’s a plastic tool
everything costs money
if you want to get onto your entrepreneurial side
cheer you on it’s a phenomenal
not that you have to have everything off the hop
when I started
I had a personal page on FB
I had no other social media platforms
I need to learn how to use these
everything is an experience
it’s a learning its a step
take from every experience
you move forward
one educational experience
in a city school
teaching a younger grade
little guy teaching him about seeds and gardening
come from the grocery store
everybody knows that
What is the best gardening advice you have ever received?
just do it
it’s so good for you on so many levels
doing the headless chicken doing this task
we are exhausted
just getting out into the garden
good for stress
nothing but good things come from gardnign
didn’t know what we were doing
barrier to entry
not quite sure you know what your doing
do it and try it
good for you on all levels
encourage people to garden
A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.
I’m all about hands in there.
I don’t even wear gloves
hands in the dirt
I have a couple of cedar boxes that I had made so
we had to move form one home to another
cedar boxes that I use
between the 3 I have 14 square feet of space
I pull a lot of food out of there
I have them on my back deck
back onto green space
a lot of 4 legged and feathered friends to visit
having the garden boxes on the deck works better keep them coming into my families mouth
planning on a bigger
have that misconception
to get your money’s worth energy
share the bounty
neighbors who will enjoy
A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?
vegetable stir fry some rice or noodles
whatever I pulled out of the garden
when we do the lettuce
I have found using the cedar boxes has removed the insects
deters a lot of insects
if you get the food grade it’s good for us as humans
food grade bag
when you water it all gets taken into the roots
you don’t have nearly the same amount of water
obviously have different water restrictions
nice knowing that we do’t need as much
A favorite internet resource?
I like to jump around on pinterest
in marketing I am always discovering
new sites and different approaches
I wouldn’t say I have a favorite in particular
Im partial to square foot gardening
a lot of amazing info
were’e also on different
more out there
I do what I can
as I come across them
love it when people come on
people send their pictures
share with others…
A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can recommend?
Square foot gardening book
cover to cover
Final question- if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?
You know if everyone took it upon themselves to do it on their own
small garden box
a few vegetables themselves
it would take a lot of pressure off the systems that are in place
if everyone picked up a trowel and grew a few veggies on their own
I think that would help
I like kidsgardening.org
they’re a non-profit about teaching children…
Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?
Just try it. It is gardening we put a seed in the dirt and water it its gonna grow
no one is
give it a try
if you haven’t done it before
give it a try
it’s an amazing experience you get so much out of it can
How do we connect with you?
join us my biggest social media
do a lot of giveaways
tips and tricks
use it as an educational platform for people
what have you
welcome encouraging people to send questions
post them out there
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