Friday, February 12, 2010

Square Foot Garden: Phase 1 - Planning

While the hubs and I are not exactly what you'd call "green thumbs" we are very fond of working outside, the sense of accomplishment that comes from growing something, and free vegetables. The Fall of 2008 was the last time we tried to grow a vegetable garden and it was a total flop. We can't take too much blame though because we were working with almost 100% shade and several garden bandits. I think one cabbage may have come up and gotten eaten before we could do anything with it.

This year is going to be different though, we're sure. We have a beautiful sunny side yard that's perfect for a garden and we're starting off trying to do everything right. I meant to get this post up a few weeks ago so that anyone who wanted to follow along would have plenty of time to do so, but it's not too late yet. We just planted last weekend because we're in the Southernmost zone in which most vegetables want to be planted between February and March. It's supposed to be after the last frost no matter where you are and considering several of my blog friends are under a blanket of snow, you can safely say that time has not come yet. You Yankees may have a couple of months to go.
We read about square foot gardening here and here and decided it would be the best approach for us because all the plants are easy to tend due to layout, the compact nature doesn't allow for much weed and grass growth, the raised beds meant we didn't have to dig at all and therefore wouldn't need clearance from our landlord, and we could have a wide variety of veggies without a lot of extra work. Also, we had tried Lasagna gardening last time and found it to be very fussy and complicated for those of us who don't already compost.
Brian took the helm for the planning phase and here's a little review of how that went.
Here he is laying out the plans for the garden. This is pretty much what he does for every project he works on. I wish you could see some of the extremely detailed drawings for furniture he makes. I like them.

This is the rough (very rough) layout of the garden. The AC unit is on the side of our house and there's a half acre that starts there and reaches out into a peninsula of sorts. That's where the garden will be, but still pretty close to the house. If you can't read my loves writing, there's space for peas which will be replaced by tomatoes and okra in a few months, beets, broccoli, carrots, green beans. And in the second garden, bell peppers, cucumber, squash, basil, parsley, squash, chard, onions, peppers, and flowers. I can't remember if we ended up getting and planting every single one of those. But I'll let you know when they start growing I guess.
Here's the seeds that we did get. Don't they look so pretty? I hope our veggies turn out that photogenic! Although it's kind of like ordering a hamburger off the value menu. Those things don't even look close!

We had a few seeds left from the last gardening experiment and Brian wanted to test them out to see if they were still good. Hence, this potted trial. I'd say the fluorescent straw flags are quite creative. I especially like this picture because it neatly summarizes all the main reasons I hate my kitchen, the junk that collects on the banquette, the Ethernet cables stretched across the room, those awful counters, and the country fruits wallpaper!

The next gardening post will be about the planting of the veggies. I'm going to try to keep really good track of how this process goes for two reasons. Hopefully if there's someone reading who would also like to grow a square foot garden this will be a good reference for them especially if they live in a zone a few weeks behind us. Also, we might like to do this again next year and who likes reinventing the wheel. Leave a comment and let me know what gardening you do or what your plans are. I'd love to keep up with yours as well!

1 comment:

Neely said...

Now I want one! haha...I think we need Gchat convo's all the time :)