Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Square Foot Gardening - I love it!

I decided this year to NOT garden in my usual spot. For the past few years, I had had a 15' x 20' pot behind the church. There was many good things about it, and I learned lots of things about gardening while I gardened there.


It was really inconvenient. I had to drive 10 minutes to get to it, and it was in a direction that I don't normally go on a regular basis. That, and I was never organized enough to get some sort of mulch down, and so I would ALWAYS end up with tons and tons of weeds.

So this year, initially, I decided not to garden at all. And then after just a tiny amount of begging, Mr. Simple agreed to make me a raised bed. Which, after the first one went together so easily, he then quickly agreed to make me 3 more!

I followed the directions for the soil mixture in the Square Foot Gardening book as well as the spacing.

He did the beds in early/mid-April, and so I got a spring planting in. It was AWESOME! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed being able to just walk out the back door and grab a little lettuce for lunch or dinner. Or some broccoli and peas.
Here you can see box 1 early on, plus the other 3. Box 4 was actually moved inside the backyard and currently has strawberries planted in it.

Another shot of box 1 early on.
Box 1 a couple weeks later. There are some broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower, onions, beets, and peas.

Box 2 with just the soil.

Box 2 early on. There is lettuce, spinach, and cabbage.

Another shot of box 2.

This is the flower bed. I pulled all the daffodil bulbs out because they weren't growing well anymore. Flower picked annuals to put in here, although we planned on putting in bulbs back in this fall.

This is the area that was cleared for bed 4 - the strawberry patch.


Then summer came and I planted tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, and lots and lots of green beans. And cucumbers and summer squash. And for the most part (besides the cucumbers and squash), everything did well. Watering was easy. Weeding was practically non-existent.


This is bed 3 in mid May. The peppers are in.

The other side of bed 3. The basil is in.

Here is the flower bed planted.

Another shot of the flower bed after we planted in early June.
In addition to the tomatoes that I planted in box 3, I also put a few in planters on the side with lattice on the fence for support. These tomatoes did NOT grow well. I will not be planting tomatoes in this way again.

Along the north side of the house, I made a small raised bed on both ends of the house. I planted a zucchini squash in this bed and a crookneck squash in the other bed.

Here is the zucchini after a week or so. The zucchini grew well for awhile, and started producing fruit. And then the squash bugs came and killed the plant and I only ended up with two small zucchinis.

This is bed #2 in June. I put up a frame with netting on the south end and planted cucumbers. They looked good when I planted them. But they never grew very tall. Again, I think I got two small cucumbers.
Here are the tomatoes and peppers in June.
Here is all of bed 3 in June. The board is so that I can rest a foot or two inside the box without pressing the soil down too much. Bed 3 is 3 x 8 and a little bit more difficult to maneuver around in.

Here is bed 2 in June. You can see the cabbages and swiss chard, and the first round of green beans.

This is box 1 in June. You can see the broccoli, beets, onions and peas.

Another shot of box 2 in June sometime.
The crookneck was really growing well, but it never produced any fruit before it also succumbed to squash bugs.


In September, I planted a few things - some mustard greens, and some chard. I wanted to do some transplants - broccoli especially, but my favorite nursery sold out early on most fall transplants, and their broccoli transplants died, and it was too late to plant seeds, so I didn't get in as much as I had planned.


And here is box 1 in late September. It had successive plantings of green beans. You can also see the bean tee pee in the background. It was planted in the corner, just inside the fence.

Box 2 in late September. This box had had green beans in it, but all had been harvested from this box by this time, and the bean plants were pulled and composted.

Box 3 in late September. I harvested a lot of tomatoes from this box in July/August, but it really slowed down by late September. I pulled the last of the tomatoes (they were mostly green) in mid/late October.

The other side of box 3

Box 4 or what we refer to as the strawberry patch in late September.

The flowerbed in late September.

Another shot of the flower garden.


Then a couple nights ago, I planted flower bulbs in the flower bed, and garlic in one of the SFG boxes.

I really, really enjoyed gardening this way, and I already have my garden planned out for next year, including at least 3 more boxes! It really is amazing how much I am able to grow in such a small area. I am using parts of my yard that were basically unused before anyway, and now we have harvested/preserved/eaten so much food from the garden this year!

1 comment:

SFG Foundation said...

Hey there, this is Kevin from the Square Foot Gardening Foundation...your garden looks awesome!