Sunday, May 04, 2008

Square Foot Gardening

It's been colder and wetter this spring than usual. I guess it's global warming at work. Someone said the ice caps are melting, making the oceans colder which is affecting our weather. I believe it!

At least that's our story, and we're sticking to it! And, that's why we didn't get our garden started till May 1.

Pat had the money to buy a tiller this spring. I said I'd like to try square foot gardening before we spent the money on the tiller. If we like it, we won't ever need the tiller. I bought a copy of Mel Bartholomew's book, New Square Foot Gardening to use for a guide. As it turned out, building 4 4-ft beds. and buying all the soil was expensive, but not as much as a tiller. We invested about $300 in boards and soil and other supplies.

First Pat made our beds. The frames are four foot square.
We attached mulch cloth to the bottom to keep grass and weeds from growing into the bed.
Next we stirred five sorts of compost, plus vermiculite and moss together to make our soil. The soil was the most expensive part of this project, but the Bartholomew's book said this was the most critical factor. Pat was doubtful, but he let me talk him into it.

Third, we filled the beds with the soil mixture. Pat attached the lath that divided our four foot beds into sixteen sections. There was a small miscalculation here. All of the lath was 4 foot in length. Half of them should have been longer to reach the edge of the longer sides of the beds. Oh well... we will make different ones next year.

Time to plant! Since it was so late in the season, we bought many of our plants, particularly the tomatoes. I picked two different kinds of onion sets, two bundles each. We didn't need that many onions. Again... live and learn. Oh! Do I miss Mom and Dad! They were the seasoned gardeners.

This wasn't the year to start a strawberry bed. (Next year!), but I did want to have a couple of plants. They started in strawberry jars on the back porch. Now we have moved them to the railroad ties that make the border of the mint bed. They are lined across the ties with several flower pots of onions. Some how the one pot of catnip didn't survive our 5 cats. Gee. I wonder why?

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