Wondering where I’ve been the last week? I have to admit I’ve been pretty distracted. I am LOVING this gardening project of mine. It has been so fun and I’m learning so much. I thought I’d tell you a bit about what I’ve done so far:
I read this book cover to cover:
Mel Bartholomew, the author, has an interesting sense of humor and is a bit wordy, but boy oh boy does he have passion! It is always fun to read books written with passion. And did I learn a LOT. I’m a complete gardening newbie (other than helping my parents as a kid), so it was fun to read and learn. He does a good job of speaking to “new” gardeners.
I also spent a bunch of time researching online about this method (and gardening in general). I wanted to be sure others had seen success with square foot gardening and that it really was simpler and more effective than traditional gardening. Supposedly, it requires less water, less fertilizing, less weeding, less work and less space than traditional gardening. I don’t have room for a traditional garden, but I still wanted to be sure this was good option. No garden is better than $$ and hours wasted on a failed one, right? Here are just a few of the site I used:
- My Square Foot Garden
- Tim’s Square Foot Garden
- How to Build a Square Foot Garden
- Square Foot Gardening Forum
- Making a Compost Pile
- Mel’s Blog
- How to grow green onions
- How to grow great basil in your garden
- How to grow big, luscious strawberries
Then came the really fun part. I love to organize, so I thoroughly enjoyed planning out just want to plant where based on which plants grow well together, which plants need more sun, which plants would shade other plants etc. Here is the plan I came up with:
Doesn’t that just make you smile? It does me. The sun loving tomatoes will shade the shade loving lettuce. The peas and cucumer will grow vertically behind the shorter cilantro, onion and basil. The oregano, parsley and carrots will be in pots.
I had fun involving my kids here too. We opened the book and looked at all the different things we could plant. I have to admit to vetoing a few things though. They really wanted radishes, but I just can’t stand them. Can’t make myself spend the time and effort on them. We went with carrots instead. I also vetoed cantaloupe and watermelons. LOVE them and we eat a LOT, but I want to take it a bit easy this first year. I don’t want to have to deal with getting them to grow vertically having a strong enough vertical frame. Plus I’m not sure the yield would be worth it in my limited space. I had also originally planned for beans, zucchini and squash, but eventually decided to hold off on those as well and just do our favorites this year for simplicity’s sake.
Then, I researched our frost date (late January!) and started planning what to plant when. I took my boys and my plan down to the local nursery and had them “approve” it and give me a few more pointers. We also bought our compost, vermiculite, seeds, some strawberry plants and a parsley plant while there. They boys had a blast helping pick out all the seeds and looking at the little flowers on the strawberry plants that would soon become berries.
Then I headed over to Home Depot and got about 1/2 of the wood for the boxes for pennies from the scrap pile. I got a 4×4 piece of plywood and a 4×8 piece. I also got two 2x6x8′s and six 4x6x8′s. That is all now sitting in our backyard. We will put the boxes together sometime this week and then start planting on Saturday! I’ll take some pictures of the process and post them next week.
I’ll be picking up a composter from Lowe’s on Wednesday.
How about you? Anyone else planting a garden this year? How about a square foot garden?