Sunday, March 15, 2009
Square Foot Gardening
I know it sounds like a crazy idea...but Mark has been researching how we can had a more successful garden this summer. Betsy is letting us borrow her book and when we (maybe I should say Mark) figures it all out we have to help her with her garden boxes. Sounds like a fair trade to me. We figure that we can save a ton of money by eating out of the garden this summer and fall. We have the perfect spot now that all the tree have been taken out by the ice and wind. And Duke Energy was kind enough to trim all the limbs back just a month ago. The last section of the yard to be overhauled is where the raised vegetable beds will go.
While Mark has been researching, I have been planting. 122 little seed pods now warm by Michael's masterpiece. We have three types of tomatoes, three kinds of lettuce, herbs galore, marigolds, cabbage, zucchini, chives and yellow squash. Once it warms up, we have peas, beans, cucumbers, and about 6 different kinds of flowers. All my little egg shell potted herb seeds are coming up. I wish it would warm up around here just a bit so we could get these in the ground. I figure another two weeks and our windowsill is going to be getting pretty full. Bryce was over last weekend and helped Mark put the 4x4 beds together. I remember when Bryce was little we had a garden. We set up a little vegetable stand at the street in the front of the house and they sold canned vegetables. Bryce wore a little straw farmer hat and cowboy boots with his shorts. I am going to have to dig for that picture...it is a classic! Here they are almost all put together. I'm not seeing the over abundance of produce coming from these four 4x4 beds. Oh, ye of little faith is all that Mark can say. I guess I am just going to have to trust him on this one. Remember that big pile of mulch a few blogs back...well, we finally got it all spread over the ground cloth and then around the vegetable beds. We even got out the level to make sure the beds were sitting level...all in the raindrops. I am thinking that our neighbors are thinking we are nuts right about now. That's okay, I'll be sharing our over abundance with them all summer. We had to mix up special dirt with vermiculite, mushroom compost, peat moss...all mixed very skillfully with the tiller in the big black thing and then out of the big black thing. According to Mel, the guy who invented this type of gardening, there will be no weeds! Now we have added the grids. Each one of those little 12x12 inch squares will hold vegetables. Once we get them all planted I will let you know how they do. Right now I am afraid that the deer are going to have a feast tonight because they have a smorgasbord tonight...peas, onions, three types of lettuce, radishes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts beets and turnips. And this fills only two beds. These are the cold weather vegetables so they go in first.And we couldn't have done it without our helpers. Skyler, Michael, Luke and Victor all had their hands in the compost and their feet in the flowerbeds today. And when they weren't helping us or playing in the rain, they were eating at Ms. Renee's. I think she felt sorry for Michael...we were so into the garden that we forgot to eat lunch. At 5PM Mark looked at me and wanted to know if we were going to stop to eat? I just get in the groove and don't realize what time it is. We came in and were in the process of warming up leftovers, when Renee's popped in the kitchen with the best bowl of chicken and dumplings ever.
We plan on lots of broccoli and Brussels sprouts (Leigh Ann I'll save you some for sure!)
I hate peas...except for the ones we planted last year. They were the best things ever! So this year we have more. Mark built the climbing fence too. It this bed we have peas, three kinds of lettuce, radishes and onions. We still need to make the 'deer fence cage' for this one...we just ran out of fencing materials. That's something to do for another day...we have plenty to fill up with things to do in the yard and the Honey Do List for inside the house is miles long.
The third bed has turnips and beets. Now three beds are finished...complete with 'deer fence cages' and special 'locks' so the fences can't be nudged off.
These are all the cold weather vegetables...when it gets warmer there will be yellow squash, zucchini , pole beans and lots of herbs. Then we will do more cold weather vegetables again in the fall along with some kale. I will have to let you know how this all works out. If it works I will never garden anyway but this way. Maybe since there won't be any weeds i can sit in the shade and admire the work. I see a vegetable stand in out future. Maybe a small business at the end of the driveway...Ellis Family Farmer's Market.....
If you are interested in seeing what Square Foot Gardening is all about...