That is the title of the “project” I’ve been wanting to work on for years. For those who haven’t figured out that the name of this site (little homeshool on the HILL) might mean something… well, it does. We live on a small mountain. And as such, we have very, very rocky land. The only way I’m going to have a nice veggie garden is if I build UP. SO, that’s where Square Foot Gardening comes in.
This is not a new concept either… it’s been around since I was a wee babe. I even think my Grandad was using a variation on it (from my childhood memories… mmmm… I loved puttering with him in his veggie garden, probably doing more damage than good, but he was ever patient and ever kind – I miss you, Grandad!). Anyhow… we’ve never managed to “get it going” here in the spring because of all the blackflies on the mountain… but this year we finally decided to just DO it – and surprisingly, we weren’t bothered that much by the blackflies after all.
I am NOT sorry!!! My garden looks fantastic!!!
What we have planted. Well, in that first box (and I am sure later on I might be sorry with the volume, but I really love them… ) are 4 zuchini plants. The second box (the big one) are 9 cucumber plants, two tomato (one grape red, and one yelllow) plants, 3 squares with bean seeds planted… we’ll see how those work out, and one brocolli. The last box has 4 more tomato plants (cherry, pink, big red and an orange variety), one green pepper plant, and three more brocolli. I know, not too much variety there, but I really don’t like growing lettuce, hate red peppers, have a kid who is allergic to carrots, and well, cellery probably wouldn’t work in these boxes… so besides cauliflower, I couldnt’ think of anything much else to plant.
There are pots too, which we did a day or so later, which aren’t in this picture. one big pot has strawberries in them, and three pots have eggplants (one plant each pot) and one additional pot has chives planted in them. Now to week, watch, tend, and wait and see what our harvest yields.
This was a fantastic homeschool project… we did it with the Littles (the Bigs were out for the day). they had SUCH a kick out of mixing up the 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss (they called it PoppaMoss, since their Grandfather “Poppa” ‘s name is Pete) and 1/3 compost (we used composted sheep manure… and thanks to Dad who didn’t think the first time he did it, spent the day calling it sheeppoop). They got really dirty, as did Mom and Dad (guess that’s part of the fun, eh?)! But at the end of the day, we felt so accomplished. We had built boxes, and since we bought 4 10-foot long pieces, we were able to cut 2-foot long ends, then split the rest into a bunch of 4-foot lengths…which gave us exactly what we needed to make the three gardens. We put them together with L-brackets (actually, I have to admit, at this point our oldest son, Ev *was* still home and helping… ). It went very fast, the hardest part was digging off the top layer of the ground. We wanted to get rid of as many dandilions roots as we could – and BOY were there a LOT!
OH! We also had a pleasant surprise! A few years back I tried a pseudo-SFG (not really planned out at all) and had planted asparagus into one corner (being perrenial and all)… well, we were about to take apart that mess and Lo and Behold, guess what??? We had a harvest of asparagus buried under all those weeds and grasses! So, it pays to pay attention, Lord only knows how many years that’s been harvestable and we just let it get overgrown. Live and Learn, eh?
So. That was our foray into Square Foot Gardening for this year. I will keep y’all posted on how my garden grows! I cannot recommend this enough to all you homeschoolers out there who might be interested in a “plants” project for the kids… all you need is a couple of planks of wood, some mix, some plants (or seeds, if you like)… and you can easily make a couple of the small gardens… maybe one for each child?
Now, if I could only get the SUN to shine on my pretty little garden, that would help! *grin*