Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Square Foot Gardening: Phase 2 - Planting

I spoke about our plans to grow a spring/summer veggie garden here. Now that it's been planted, I wanted to update you on how it's going. Brian built us these two planter boxes that are set up on a layer of cardboard so weeds don't come through out in our side yard where they can get full sun. Each one is 4'x4' with dividers that rest on top of the soil creating 16 square foot boxes for planting. There are two of them, so that makes 32. 4 feet across is a pretty good limit because it is possible to reach all of your plants to water and tend to them. Then we filled the planters with Mel's Mix which is one part compost, one part vermiculite, one part peat moss, and one part soil. We underestimated how much would be needed and had to go back and get another load of that stuff.
In the last installment I talked about planning the spacing of all the plants and purchasing the seeds. For those of you in Texas, this resource put out by Texas A&M horticulture has been invaluable to us in figuring out when each species should go in. As you can see, there's still time left for lots of varieties of plants just in case you haven't started your garden yet. We've been following that schedule for each plant since late January and just about all of the seeds have germinated. The only ones that didn't were the asters and forget-me-nots (the flowers I'd petitioned for). So we went ahead and turned them up and put squash there instead. You can see in the picture how well the peas are doing! I'm looking forward to when they start climbing that trellis Brian made for them! The seeds only go in about half an inch, you don't have to dig. You can put a couple of seeds per spot, then thin them out the the spacing required by variety. This weekend we thinned out several of the boxes so that the plants weren't overcrowded and we also put in some transplants for tomatoes and peppers. Before the transplants went in we weren't having to water almost at all because we've been having quite a bit of rain around here, but tomatoes take a ton of water so we'll have to pick up the pace on that. We use a watering can that sits out and collect rain water. I think we still have some thinning left to do but it hurts my little heart to pull out plants that are trying so hard!
Here are the little sprouts in their beds.
Planter 1

Those are the peas on the left and the radishes on the right. broccoli, beets, carrots in the middle. They aren't very big yet. The bricks are there for when we've had to cover the planter for freezing nights. That's probably over by now, but just in case.
Planter 2

Those are cilantro, a couple different varieties of tomatoes, jalapenos and banana peppers. The little ones you don't see very well are swiss chard. Brian won that one. I've never bought swiss chard and didn't see much point in growing it.

I would be remiss if I spent a whole post talking about these plants we're working hard for and didn't even mention the "volunteers" decorating our yard. Oh lovely dandelions and buttercups! Even mower blades don't phase you!

If my parents' yard looked like that they'd be getting a letter from the homeowners' association, but you have to understand. We're in the country, yall, and they don't really care what we do with our yard. There's a sailboat sitting in it for pete's sake! (with any luck that'll be gone this weekend, back to the lake where it belongs) Last year with the droughts we had a half acre of dirt. This year I'm thankful for the weeds just as long as they don't take up their place in the planters!


Brittany said...

First, thank you so much for your sweet comments on my blog about Sophie! You garden looks awesome! I can't wait to plant ours. I never thought about planting broccoli, what a great idea! Last year hubs planted a ton of peppers (all kinds) and some cantleoupe. It all turned out well. Keep us updated on your little sprouts!

Vintage Linen Treasures said...

Hi! I just found you through Texas Blogging Girls. It's so nice to find a Texas gardener. I'm not a TRUE gardener, but I'm trying! I just planted my first vegie garden ever and it's very similar to yours.
Patricia :o)
PS: You have a new follower.

Diana said...

I am so impressed with your garden plans.

I have one, but it is so wet I can't do a thing! So sad....

Denise said...

We follow the sq ft gardening concept but our beds are such a mess right now! I think I will ask hubby to make the grid in the middle like you have, we had them before in another house but he's done longer beds in this one. We did plant broccoli the other week which is sprouting and we put peas in last week :) I will follow your blog as I'd love to see how your garden grows.

Karl Joe said...

Well, well, well Mrs Erin! Your garden is looking great! Now, of course, Allie wants me to build her some beds in the backyard so she can play gardener as well. Hope you and B are doing well! Take care, ~K

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