Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Planting Time Again

3 years ago, I checked a book out from the Library called Square Foot Gardening:

I was instantly in love!  I kept the book for the full 6 weeks I was allowed.  I loved the idea of a garden not taking up the majority of your yard and producing so many vegetables that you have to beg people to take them from you.
 I loved the fact that literally NO vegetables are wasted because you grow just enough for your needs.  The vegetables are also grown close enough together that there is pretty much NO weeds, because their isn't the room for them.
The ground never needs to be tilled because you never need to walk on it.  You can reach all places from around the sides.  See how straight and long my carrot is in the first picture?  The dirt doesn't  ever get compacted, allowing vegetables to grow straight and long roots.
He gives calculations to figure out how many square foot gardens you will need.
He gives times when each vegetable should planted (based on the last freeze date in the spring and the first frost date in Fall).  The beauty of it is that by the time most people get around to planting their gardens in May, you've already harvested a crop of peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots,  and radishes.  This method also automatically keeps crops rotating.
You grow all vine vegetables vertically (taking up less room)
There is no thinning of the seeds once they start coming up because instead of sprinkling an entire package in a 30 foot plot, you place only the 1,2,4,16 seeds that you need.
I could go on and on about how great this idea is.

Here are the basics: You build a square foot garden 4ft by 4ft.  The first year I did it, we just had it ground level.  We placed boards around the sides to mark it off.  The next year, we built a raised garden with recycled concrete blocks.
We bought a pack of LATH at Home Depot and my husband cut them in half lengthwise and I stapled them together and painted them.  Thus dividing the garden into 16 squares.
Each square gets a vegetable....or 16 depending on their spacing.  Carrots for example you plant 16 to a square.  4 rows of 4 (within a square foot).
The frame that vegetables grow up is made from Electrical conduit, as explained in the book.  I then hang string from it, to let the veggies grow on up.
Tomorrow is the day at least for my zone, (5 weeks before the last frost) to plant peas and spinach.  I'll share with you tomorrow how you keep the little plants from freezing.

No comments:

Post a Comment