My mother got married a few weeks ago, and the little one had a birthday (she's THREE!), after that I got hit with a bunch of orders, and then my back went out and triggered a massive flare up of Sciatica that had me in pain for more than a week and unable to do much of anything.... And then when I started feeling better, the sun finally came out and I've been obsessed with gardening, lol. That was my month in a nutshell!
So, onto the gardening!
Hubby and I have had this grand plan, every year, for the last 4 or 5 years, that we are going to start growing as much of our own food as possible. It hasn't worked yet.
This year, I'm not working outside of the home, so I'm here to actually DO SOMETHING with the garden!
Back a few months ago we ordered an awesome seed kit from Baker Creek, a huge variety of seeds, specifically picked to grow in Northern Climates (YAY!), and ordered the book All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. We had come across his website a few years ago, and liked the idea of this method, but never really did much research into it and it fell to the backs of our minds.
We've had the book for a couple months now, but hadn't read it. Hubby put together some garden beds, and we bought a few loads of a Loam/Compost/Vermiculite mix from a local farm and put that in a couple of the beds. Then I read the book. So we aren't using "Mel's Mix" like the book calls for, but it should still be a good start!
I started by planting some Lettuce that we had been growing inside. Some of it survived being harvested and then transplanted a day later and is coming back with new leaves, some of it didn't make it. I also started some seeds in the ground, other types of lettuce and greens (Oriental greens, swiss chard, etc).
That was about 2 weeks ago. This weekend I worked on transplanting Cauliflower and Broccoli and getting the grids up on the beds. Unfortunately, I ran out of string, so had to eyeball a few of the transplants. I came across a really good idea for planting Radishes and Scallions in the 1 foot grid lines, so maybe hubby can have his string back!
After I did all that and got the cauliflower and broccoli planted I was exhausted, so I relaxed the rest of the night. The next day I transplanted the rest of our seedlings (except the onions, those are coming due this weekend). I'll post a list at the end of this with the count of what I planted, it's kinda crazy lol
So here are the pictures:
|Our "Three Sisters" bed (ONE of the two we will have) Corn and Beans/Peas in the center 2 rows and different types of Squash in the outer two rows|
|At the far end you see Hubby, next to him is where our lettuce is planted. This was taken before the picture at the top, as you can see from the top picture our tomatoes are now along the fence with peppers and eggplant in front of them|
|Our first time using "home grown" compost! Had to sift out some uncomposted materials, but found some useable!|
|Adding the compost to the soil (we didn't buy a mix for these 2 beds, they were an afterthought and we were broke haha)|
|Cauliflower in the top 6 rows, then Broccoli in the bottom 2 (and in 4 rows of the next box that you can't see)|
As for the final tally, I sat down yesterday and figured out exactly how much I have planted, here we go:
- 16 Zucchini plants
- 8 Japanese Cucumber plants
- 8 Winter Squash
- 8 each of 3 types of beans
- 8 sugar peas
- 24 Cauliflower and 24 Broccoli plants
- Lettuce and other greens
- 8 varieties of tomatoes, up to 12 plants of each type (Nearly 100 plants total by my count)
- 24 each of 2 varieties of garden peppers
- 12 each of two types of hot peppers
- 6 each of 2 varieties of eggplant