Sunday, June 01, 2008

square foot gardening

i have wanted to have a garden for years. when we decided to move out of our charleston apartment and back to east tennessee and into a house, i knew that i would be growing a garden. not that you HAVE TO be in a house to grow something. i've tried pot gardens with little success in the past. but i know it can be done.
within a week or so of moving in, i was working on my square foot garden plots. i had been so scared about starting a garden, that when i found the SFG book at the bookstore i knew that would be the thing to help me get over my fears. so i got the book for my birthday! the thing about it though, is that while it takes you through all the easy steps, there isn't a whole lot of learning about gardening going on...beyond the very basics anyway. it reminds me a little of when i was in college taking a printmaking class. the teacher gave us the sheets with all the steps. he warned us though not to just memorize the steps. to actually understand what it was we were doing in each step. he said the problem with just knowing the steps is that if you forget a step you're lost. knowing something, understanding it, can keep you from getting lost...or at least help you back on your way if you do. this is what i'm thinking about the SFG method. it gives me enough information to get going. but i needed more. so i've been reading other books as well. and learning how to ask questions.
but, for the most part, i think it's a really good system. plus, i got to make boxes!!! and that is something i could not have enjoyed more. i have been making boxes (in art) for as long as i can remember. so this was the fun part for me!

then there's the setting it all up, putting weed cloth underneath.

mixing up the magic mix of vermiculite, 5 different kinds of compost, and peat moss,

and filling them in.

putting on the grid system...

a finished plot...

my four complete square foot garden beds.

these were all taken in early april, before any planting or growing...or harvesting, which we are doing right now. i know, i'm just skimming the surface here...but there is more to come.



DP Nguyen said...

Your square foot gardening plots look very good and very clean! :-) I can't wait to see how your plants are doing in them.


DP Nguyen said...

thanks for visiting my blog soon! you should update for more photos of your garden when you get a chance. I'd love to see more!


CG said...

omg, you actually put GRIDS in! How ANAL! LOL! And I'm still really concerned about the weed cloth -- if things can't go up, things can't go down. Also, worms and spiders and things. But these are the things that doing will teach you -- whether you can or you can't do something. I think about soils as being alive -- their bugs, their bacteria, are just like in people, vital to them. So to separate them that way would concern me. Anyhoo, you are getting good stuff. I hope that before the summer is out, you can't find your grids!

laura said...

yep, did the grids. i'll tell ya, when i don't know much about what i'm doing and i have instructions...i usually follow them to the letter. as i learn more, i make my own rules though.

about the soil/weed cloth. well, supposedly with the right mixture you can grow most anything in 6" of soil. that's what he says and so far it looks pretty good. our corn is waist high, so it seems to be working fine. we'll see.

CG said...

well, it might "work" fine, but one of the whole points is to improve soil and increase fertility. Well, it probably isn't one of HIS points! LOL! His point is probably to get you to grow SOMETHING, which I'm glad you are. But I'd want the earthworms mixing it all up in there -- I wouldn't want a barrier between my plants and the earth.