Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Best Blogger Tips
Since we moved here in late spring last year, there really wasn't time to get any kind of garden going.  I used the beds along the west side of the house and had some success with tomatoes, but otherwise it was not a good gardening year.  Since then, we realized that when the builder finished the lawn, their main objective was to cover as many rocks and as much gravel as possible.  So this soil is not terribly useful for growing much of anything, including grass (another HUGE project). 

I started researching gardening methods that would work without digging into the rock and clay soil, and that didn't require a significant amount of amending.  I decided to use the Square Foot Gardening method, which is basically a method of gardening where you build large containers, 4 X 4 feet, 6 inches deep, and fill them with compost, vermiculite, and peat.  I started this season with 4 boxes, so I have 64 square feet of gardening space.  The goal of this method is to garden very densely, which eliminates the need for huge, sprawling rows.  For example, in a typical garden, you would plant green beans in rows 24" apart, and thin them to 4" apart each.  In order to plant 36 green bean plants in a normal garden, you'd need a little more than 12 square feet of garden space.  With this method, I can plant those same 36 bean plants in 4 square feet of space.  

Here are the boxes:

Here are my babies - I tried growing Heirlooms this year, so they had a long start indoors before they could be moved:

Here are early plantings in mid-April - mostly peas, lettuce, and spinach:

Here is the same box in the front, as well as the others - lots of stuff is growing:  (this was taken about a week ago):

Here are the electrical conduit trellises for the tomatoes (Black Krims here), cucs and zucs:

And here is some of the basil, my FAVORITE:

The kids are having a great time helping, from digging holes for baby plants to putting seeds in, to watering in the "bucket brigade" to use the old swimming pool water for watering the boxes.  :)