Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Update on the Raised-Bed Square-foot Garden

This, right here, this goofy little plot, is  my 10x10 "Square-Foot Garden".   I'll tell  you  about some of the steps we went through to make if you're interested.  If not, pass on by to Fried Chicken.
Below is some of the stuff, er.. .amendments, we put in the soil; peat moss, and vermiculite, and I don't show the kitchen and yard compost I made last year but we put that in as well.
Below is how the garden turned out with all the amendments dug in and  covered with weed blocker.  You can never have too much protection.  Against weeds.
I also consumed some medicinal tequila later to loosen up my back.
The roof tiles were there to make the soaker hose behave.  I removed them later.

Then I covered it all with a bale of "hot" hay that my neighbor kindly gave me, also some insides from some evaporative cooler pads, (left over from another idea) and got started putting my old collection of picket fence around it, mainly for vine support but also just to be funky.  I am planning to make a bigger support trellis for the beans later on.

And...then I had this idea about the "squares" in the square foot garden.  In order to be able to have two (admittedly) narrow walking paths through the garden, (the burlap) I bought lath and made it into long T's with cross pieces.  Each one of those rows is 20 square feet.
This was actually fun to do, mostly because  I got out Left Brain's skill saw out to cut the 2 foot pieces.  Wow!  I love power tools.  Left Brain just hates it when I use his tools.
At this point,  I needed some help to make the "gates" into the "walkways' and Left Brain got out his own power tools and made me two lovely little gates that just stick into the soil.  Waaaay cool.

Now that I have all the soil ready and the plan laid out, I sketched out my spaces and had fun figuring what to plant where.  I have 60 square feet to work with!  These are the plants I will plant, either as seeds or seedlings:
Red Ripper Cowpeas (isn't that the coolest name?  My dad told me about them.)
Black eyed Peas
Rattlesnake Beans (who could resist this?)
Yellow Squash
Bell Pepper
Poblano chile
Beets (Beets?, really?)
Greek Oregano

I have a sneaking suspicion that some of you reading this are laughing out loud at the idea of all those plants in this little space, and you are probably right!  But this is experimental, and however it turns out, I'll show you the results.  I just could not resist all those lovely little seeds.  I'm missing my Mom, and this helps.
However,  I do have to admit that my funny little mother never made such a to-do out of a vegetable garden.  She just put seeds in the ground and out they came.  She would probably have laughed at this. But I have never had her luck or skill.  This garden is actually my most all-out effort at a vegetable garden.  So wish me luck, por favor.


jon said...

Jan, I stumbled upon your blog today and think it is great what you are doing with the garden. It is inspiring for others looking to grow their own food. One suggestion I might make to others is that when doing raised-beds, I would stick to 3-4' widths so that you do not have to carve out paths in your garden. Anyway, keep up the great work!

Jan said...

Thanks, Jon. I appreciate your kind words and am sure you are right. It was just tempting to get the most space I could out of the least amount of work! I also am wondering about the placement of the plants. I did put (most of)the climbers on the north side but I'm wondering if some others can just spill over and produce outside of the raised bed. I guess I'll see!

Clementina said...

Tell me when you plan on harvesting these little gems. I want to steal them!
"A Little Cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate"