Sunday, March 15, 2009

Square Foot Garden

this is really so exciting. it is always nice when bryan's interests and mine come into play - it happened a couple weeks ago when he helped me sew puppet costumes for his video...more on that later...and this weekend it came into play with our new veggie garden. my cheapness and his love for gardening both had a happy marriage this weekend. it all started about a month ago when our pastor challenged our congregation on gardening - he had an idea to start a farmer's market with our church body and then opening it up to the community. the idea all stems from the book - The Square Foot Garden by Mel Bartholemew. seriously is more like gardening for dummies.

when we moved to our house we started a garden right away because it had been a dream of ours. we had a great first crop - we sowed rows of veggies according to the seed packets and for the most part it was fine - we had to tend it often, but it was fine. the second year we spent a day tilling up the soil (completely weed ridden at this point) and planted and our garden was a total bomb - from the bugs to the neighbor's hedge not trimmed...whatever - it was a bust. we spent so much time and effort into it and not really much to speak of. needless to say i was not about to do a garden again...until...i went out and got this book. it makes so much sense! i HATED thinning - it made me sad - really...this book totally against thinning. he says to only plant a couple seeds and then cut the offending sprout instead of pulling it and disturbing the other seedling. i HATED the rows and the fact that i would have 10 heads of lettuce at once and had to use them in 1 week...what? am i a bunny? he is against row planting - his whole idea is based on 1 sq foot and growing MORE in LESS space. brilliant. if you are at all interested in gardening you should get this book. the cool thing is that anyone can have a veggie garden because of the sq ft thing - you can get 1x1 planters and have it on your porch. we decided to go with two 4x4 foot boxes.

first we laid down an anti-weed fabric thing. for the boxes we used composite edging, but you can do it out of wood as well - we didnt have a skill saw and loew's apparantly doesnt cut 2x6 wood - you aren't supposed to use treated wood either and so instead of buying wood that could rot or buying wood and treating it partially ourselves we took the easy way i think it looks quite nice!

after we assembled the boxes we had to mix all the soil together. the author has a formula of equal parts peat moss, compost and vermiculite. we had to go to 3 different stores to find all we needed and we had to do all sorts of math because each type of soil comes in different size bags and it severely hurt my brain, but we came through and ended up with some pretty amazing soil i must say.

We then packed the boxes with the soil lightly watering it as we went. (Bryson helped but then needed to stop for a potty break - apparantly this is a potty break when men work in the garden) after the soil was in the ground we then used string to divide the boxes into 16 square foot squares and i planted all sorts of spring veggies - spinach, lettuce, onions, carrots, broccoli - hopefully we can plant more next weekend since we ran out of light (hence no string picture). i am so excited to see what happens - especially since the book goes on and on about this amazing soil and how you never have to worry about the pH and it will last you years and years...more pics to come - i hope to have some seedlings soon! anyway - to encourage all of you who are not gardening inclined - like myself - this makes gardening super easy and takes out the guess work and his book has these amazing pictures and graphs and charts that are total cheat sheets...if i can do it anyone can!

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