Monday, April 6, 2009

More Square Foot Gardening

What a flake I am. I just kept thinking about all the things in the last two weeks I could have blogged about, but I said at the end of my last post that I would give you more of the scoop on SFG. So I put off blogging until I was in the mood to talk about gardening again. bleh. How can I NOT be in the mood now that the weather is so warm and sunshiny???

So by now you are probably WAY ahead of me and have all your seedlings that you want to plant in thier little pots or whatever. We started a while ago and a bunch already died. I swear, every year I get more of a black thumb for some reason.

Instead of making this a huge long post about how to space out your plants in a square foot garden, and when to plant (which I was planning on) I'm going to give you a couple handy links I found. I made a chart a few years back with a timeline and a map of my garden. I have little squares on there with every crop that I fiddle around with.
The first link is for when to plant. You need to know your last frost date. For us here in zone 7a, ours is May 1. If you don't know your zone, you can google it. I finally found my hard to find zone after the 4th try (really, we are in a weird spot. Unless you live here, you wouldn't know there is a desert in Washington). You can find the customizable planting schedule at http://bioarray.us/Skippy%27s%20planting%20calendar.html . This is for the spring crops. From there you can also get to the fall planting schedule based on the first frost date and counted backwards. The beauty of square foot gardening is that you can greenhouse just one square of plants if you wish, making a hot house from plastic and hangers, or even a 2 liter bottle if it will fit.
You can find tips on spacing out your plants at http://allaboutsquarefootgardening.com/?page_id=22.
Also, I took a class on this last week. SO GOOD. I don't think I learned anything new, I had read the book before, but it was such a good refresher and now I want to dig out all my dumb feedlot dirt and fill my box with "Mel's Mix", a three part soil made from 1 part coarse vermiculite (holds in water, find at nurseries or *maybe* Lowes), 1 part peat moss, and 1 part compost. The compost should be made out of as many different materials as possible. Next year you can just stir compost into squares as needed. You shouldn't need fertilizer or bug reppelant if you have good compost.
So, I'm not a genius, and I'm not the most experienced gardener, but I wanted to tell everyone what I DO know about this great method of gardening. I hear veggie gardens are REALLY popular right now since the economy is in the toilet and eating healthy is in. If Michelle Obama was doing SFG, she wouldn't have to have the President out there weeding the new garden at the White House. You can really do this, and if you don't think you can, just take a gander at the book. If you can't find it at the library, I saw it on Amazon for $12. Really, at the seminar they showed us a picture of a SFG on someones roof.

Another thing I've been pondering are the "topsy-turvy tomatoes". My In-Laws have been wowed by the ads and have a tree or two at thier house. Do these things really work? why can't you just hang up a bucket? Maybe cut a hole in the side? I might try having a few hanging baskets of tomatoes or something this year, but I'm not sure. This will be for mere experimentation. I've read bad reviews on the product, but I think the general idea is a good one. Anyone know anything about these things?

2 comments:

Catherine & Tyler said...

Yeah you can do them in bucket, 5 gallon bucket, 2 inch hole in the bottom, make sure the plant is 8-12 inches before you plant it upside down, just goggle it.. there are a bunch of different ways to do it.. make sure your bucket has a lid so you don't have to water as much... let me know if ya do it!

Christy said...

I appreciate your posts. We are planning our first SFG this year. Thanks for the tips!
Oh, and my husband saw those topsy turvy tomatoes on TV,and he said we need those, since we don't have a lot of room for a garden. I am too chicken to order them.

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