February 7, 2016

Spring Salad Garden Plan ~ Square Foot Garden #1

Here is the plan for my first Square Foot Garden for spring.  It is basically a salad garden.  I will replant the lettuce, radishes, spinach and carrots in the fall.  Those squares will be empty during the summer heat.

As we only have one radish eater in the family I will plant eight seeds each week.  I will be planting short varieties of carrots and probably two or three different lettuces.  As with the radishes, I will plant eight carrots each week and replant as we harvest.   I will harvest some onions for salads and cooking throughout the growing season leaving every other one to grow large for a fall harvest.

At least this my plan....we will see how it all goes.

February 6, 2016

My Square Foot Gardening Garden Frames Arrived

My order of three 4 x 4 square foot garden frames arrived.  Now to choose the final location, build and fill.  My choice of buying, instead of mixing, my dirt is not working out.  Neither Lowe's nor Home Depot is carrying it in any store within 100 miles of my home.  I am working with a local farm store to see if they can get the coarse grade vermiculite I need or I'll need to get my relative to pick some up from Palmetto Vermiculite in South Carolina on their way to visit us.  I'm anxious to get them put together and filled as onion sets are locally available and my spring planting chart shows I can plant them on February 15.

January 27, 2016

Planting Template for Square Foot Garden ~ Wish List

I love gadgets that make work easier and these hand made square foot gardening templates are going on the top of my wish list.  Greg Holdsworth, over at Vegetable Gardner, shares how to make wooden planting templates from plywood and wooden spools with a handle on top.

I know we have a lot of old spools of thread (the thread is now weak so I won't be using it), some even wooden, that I may be able to use and not have to purchase any.  I even have a piece of plywood.  These are going on my square foot gardening wish list for a rainy day: one with 16, one with nine and one with four.

January 26, 2016

Watering Grid for Square Foot Garden ~ Wish List

I need to research this more before a final decision, but I think this square foot gardening watering grid is ingenious!  It was shared here on the Square Foot Gardening Official Forum by Hoggar.  He designed it and gives detailed information on how we can make our own.  I'm adding this to my square foot gardening wish list.
Image credit goes to Hoggar on Square Foot Gardening The Official Forum

January 25, 2016

Trellis for My Square Foot Garden ~ Wish List

Our current home's location and large deer population dictates that my square foot gardens be right in front of the house I want it to look as lovely as possible.  I found this image in a Google search of a square foot garden with trellises in the back for vining plants.  This would be perfect in front of the brick wall of the garage. (I've included a link to the image as I can't find how to get permission to share it here).  I've added trellises to my Square Foot Garden Wish List.

January 24, 2016

Where to Buy Vermiculite for Square Foot Gardening

One of the trials of Square Foot Gardeners is finding a source for Vermiculite.  I stumbled upon this Google Document with vermiculite sources listed by state.  There are none listed near me, but I did find one within easy driving distance for a relative who comes to visit.  I am looking into having them pick some up for me from Palmetto Vermiculite in South Carolina (or Coleman Farm Supply at 5980 Highway 101, Woodruff SC, (864) 476-2914).  Palmetto actually carries one specifically labeled for Square Foot Gardening.  Note:  looks like 2 cu ft = 10#.

January 23, 2016

"Top Hat" Added to Make Deeper Soil in Square Foot Garden ~ Wish List

I am adding a "top hat" or two on my Square Foot Garden wish list.  They are made of cedar planks and are 1' x 1' square and 6" deep.  You place one on top of one square in the garden, fill it with soil and plant carrots or potatoes (or other crops requiring more than 6" of soil) in it.

Square Foot Gardening sells them for $9.99 plus shipping.  I can get a 1" x 6" x 8' cedar at Lowe's for just under $15.  I am adding this to my square foot gardening wish list.  I may not have them this first year, but perhaps next year.  For this year I'll plant short carrot varieties.

January 22, 2016

I've Ordered The All New Square Foot Gardening Book by Mel Bartholomew

As you can see my Square Foot Gardening book is quite old (copyright 1981).  I know that Mel Bartholomew has learned a lot since he wrote this book and so I have used some of my Christmas money to order a like new copy of  Mel's latest All New Square Foot Gardening, 2nd Edition book from a seller on Ebay.  I can't wait until it arrives.

I tend to look at several sources to learn a new skill.  At this stage in my life I think it is best to just stick with Mel's years of knowledge and try it.  So I am putting away my other books:  for now anyways.

January 21, 2016

Gardening Home Library

We have collected several gardening books in our home library over the years; most of them from used book stores.  They came in handy when we lived in the country with a large garden.  We moved them to the city with us but they have been hidden away until now.  I plan on studying them to learn how to incorporate their knowledge into my Square Foot Garden journey.  I enjoy the feel of a book in my hands over a computer on my lap while learning.

January 20, 2016

Soil Needs for Filling My First Square Foot Garden

Apparently soil used in a square foot garden needs to be quite specific in its blend if success is to assured.  Mel, from the Square Foot Gardening Foundation gives this recipe he has used with fantastic results:

Total Soil Needed for 4' x 4' x 6" Bed:  8 Cubic Feet
  • 1/3 Coarse Grade Vermiculite (Palmetto Vermiculite in SC)
  • 1/3 Sphagnum Peat Moss (bag is compressed, when opened it about doubles)
  • 1/3 Blended Compost (a variety of types -- 5 preferred)
From my reading it appears as if the Vermiculite is often hard to find locally and expensive to ship.  They suggest possibly finding it at Commercial Nurseries or swimming pool companies if local home and garden centers do not have it.

Since my first garden is being paid for by birthday and Christmas gifts I am taking the easy route and buying pre-mixed, bagged soil.  Instead of jewelry or lovelies of some sort I will request dirt!  Both Lowes and Home Depot have it listed on their websites, but it is not yet in stock in the stores (shipping from HD is $10 a bag and Lowes does not ship it).  I am hoping my local Lowes will stock it soon.
Both of these are the exact mix developed by Mel Bartholomew (they even have his image on the bag).

Soil upkeep from year to year is simply to add homemade compost.