Garden Glory - Teaching, Eating, and Sleeping: welcome to my world! Blog at - 273669

Teaching, Eating, and Sleeping: welcome to my world!

Garden Glory 
Apr. 24, 2012 12:06 pm 
Updated: Apr. 28, 2012 6:09 am
Hello all! I’ve been a bit of a stranger to AR lately, but with spring having “sprung” at my house, I thought it time to share what’s been keeping me away. Besides school (only two weeks until final exams!), I’ve been watching my garden grow! Last year, my sister-in-law and I planted a large garden at my in-laws farm and traveled the 40 miles a couple of days a week to tend it and harvest our bounty. It was such a success that I began looking into ways that I might plant a garden in my own back yard this year. Understand that my yard is a larger town lot that is bordered by Bald Cypress on two sides, a giant Maple on a third side, and the house in the front. This equates to a very shady yard, which is great for summer cookouts but is not conducive to gardening. There is, however, a swatch of yard just beyond the deck that manages to get around 7 hours of sunlight a day.

The question then became how to use this limited space effectively. The answer to this question came in the form of a technique called Square Foot Gardening. Way back in November (after we harvested the last of our fresh off the vine tomatoes), I began to plan for this year’s garden. By Christmas, I had purchased a book by Mel Bartholomew titled All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space. By the end of January, I had a sketch of my garden layout complete with the locations of each bit of manna I planned to produce thanks to this website: The Grow Veg site allowed me to design my garden space in the proper format for square foot gardening, so all I had to do was wait for planting season. In the meantime, I set up a compost bin. I built a 4x4 frame out of scrap wood from our shop and began depositing my kitchen waste on a daily basis the key to composting is: 1) don’t put in anything that had a mama, and 2) turn, turn, turn. I’ve been composting for a couple of months now, and have a beautiful, if small, pile of dirt.

At the end of March, I built my 4x4x12 wood frame, placed it atop a piece of weed cloth, and filled it with equal parts peat moss, vermiculite, and manure compost.

I then built a 4x4 lattice top to divide it into 16 separate square foot sections and placed it on top of the garden. The last week of March, I planted Black Headed Simpson leaf lettuce, Romaine, carrots, radishes, onions, broccoli, and spinach.

As you can see, a permanent black marker on the edge of the frame clearly identifies what each square foot contains. Most people assume that the chicken wire is to keep rabbits out--not so! The dogs keep the rabbits out; the fence keeps the dogs out:) The back four square feet of this box are reserved for (insert Hallalujah Chorus here) TOMATOES!

The far side of this view is the north side where the tomatoes will planted later this week. I'm putting them on the north side so they won't shade the other plants. I'm thrilled with the outcome of this gardening method so far.

I plan to install another "plot" in the next week or so. It will contain bell peppers, cucumbers, bush beans, summer squash, zuccini squash. I may even plant some basil, oregano, and chammomile! I used the last of my canned tomatoes from last year for pizza sauce last week, the week before we finished the last of the zuccini relish, and I have two quarts of green beans left. I can't wait to eat my first real "Garden" salad this year!
Apr. 24, 2012 3:10 pm
Woohoo! I've been square foot gardening too!
Apr. 24, 2012 3:12 pm
Yay! We'll have to compare notes at Cat's in June:)
Apr. 24, 2012 4:25 pm
Awesome! I keep trying to do that but fail. We can indeed compare notes and if you want anything from my garden bring containers. I have the shovel :)
Apr. 24, 2012 5:25 pm
Oh, Cat, now that my thumbs are officially green who knows what I might abscond with:)
Apr. 24, 2012 5:36 pm
it sounds terrific! i need to talk the wife into cutting down 2 trees and i can get some sun for some raised beds too. keep blogging about this garden...i need inspiratio. i've got the orginial square-foot gardening book.
Apr. 24, 2012 5:55 pm
I'll keep you updated gderr! If it remains as simple as it has been thus far, I will be hooked for life:)
Apr. 25, 2012 5:12 am
I may give that idea a try. It has the right considerations and makes sense, too. We just opened up a spot that would work nicely for this. Hmmmm ...
Apr. 25, 2012 1:56 pm
Hi, Mike! I'll be sure to bring photos and updates on my success to the round-up. I can't wait to start harvesting.
Apr. 28, 2012 6:09 am
Looks great, Mangel! I have not thought about square foot gardening. My dad's garden was always huge, and it my mind, it was a bigger job than I wanted to tackle. Maybe square foot gardening would be more manageable. Thanks for the idea!
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Home Town
New Cambria, Missouri, USA
Living In
Leeton, Missouri, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2010

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Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

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About Me
Forty-something English Teacher with wonderful hubby and four "kids" cats: Tex & Chloe, Dogs: Manny & Angel. My favorite hobby wasn't on the list: Woodworking.
My favorite things to cook
Whatever tickles my fancy! Since joining AR, I've developed a love for bread making and for making unique veggie recipes (brussel's sprout omelets, for example).
My favorite family cooking traditions
Mom used to always make fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, green beans, and crescent rolls for sunday "dinner". My sister and I would come home from church and the kitchen would be bright and cheery and smell DIVINE.
My cooking triumphs
Creating a meatloaf recipe that made my mother-in-law jealous! Having my Cheddar Biscuits requested by my husband for "food day" at his high school.
My cooking tragedies
I absolutely CANNOT cook with curry...Everthing ends up tasting like a volcanic eruption!
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