Saturday, May 30, 2009

Square foot gardening!!!

My father-in-law has been doing square foot gardening for I believe 7 years. We just LOVED it when they would send us home with a bag full of tomatoes and other veggies from their garden. There is nothing quite like the delectable taste of home grown vegetables and herbs. So here it is, our very first shot ever at gardening...and it's by the 'square foot'!

Our gardening bible:
If any of you want to buy this book for your square foot garden, click here! And by the way, it's not too late to get started on one. There are some things you have to plant early spring, and this book explains it all. Seriously, the guy in this book is a genius! And I think a little bit obsessed!

We decided to make ours 3x4, so 12 squares all together. So technically ours isn't a perfect square.

Here's the piece of plywood for the bottom.

You also need a couple of 1X6 or 2x6 boards and a 3 year old helper!

My hubby measured each side to be 1/2 inch longer to allow for screwing them together {so like instead of 2 four foot boards and 2 three foot boards, they were 4 ft and 1/2 inch and 3 ft and 1/2 inch}.

Then you have your husband do the wood cutting.

He pre-drilled 3 holes into each end of the pieces of wood.

Then screwed them together.

Then the plywood board {which was also measured and cut to fit just right} is screwed into the four sides. This is a view of the box upside down.

He kind of outlined each individual square on the bottom with a pencil, then drilled a hole in the middle of each square to allow drainage.

Here's the finished box! You can stain or seal the wood on the OUTSIDE to avoid warping, but not the inside because it's toxic to the plants. We did not do this. It's optional.

We used the extra pieces of wood to elevate the box a little from each corner to enable the holes to drain any excess water.

Now the secret ingredient! Vermiculite, compost, and peat moss! {Say that to yourself 3 times in your head so you ALWAYS remember. This is Mel's secret mix, and with it you CAN'T over water your plants, it's impossible! How nice is that?}

So the ration is 1:1:1. 1 shovelful of compost, 1 shovelful of peat moss, 1 shovelful of vermiculite....over and over and over and over and over!

Water it down, and let it settle.

Now we are ready for planting!

As you can see, the squares are marked off with string. We used the book to guide our decisions of where to plant what. We ended up with tomatoes (3), cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, cantaloupe, beans, peas, chives, onions, cilantro. As you can see, we got some wiring to support the vines as they grow.

I'm so proud, I'm beaming!!!

Mel says you grow more from a square foot garden than a regular one! I guess we'll see! And my favorite part about the whole thing...NO WEEDING!!!

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