Archive for Square Foot Gardening

Lettuce Plants and More 04-09-08

Bibb Lettuce 98 days (click to enlarge)

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce 98 days (click to enlarge)

Mmm…the Bibb lettuce is coming along really well. All it needs are some yummy cucumber slices and little red cherry tomatoes. I’m going to harvest these soon or else it’ll bolt. I have 4 to 5 Bibb lettuce ready to harvest and 3-4 heads of black seeded Simpson lettuce. I also have some little cherry belle radishes getting ready to harvest but I might just wait to let it grow a little longer to mellow out its peppery taste. This growing season, I’m going to try succession planting to ensure salad crops throughout the season. I have some more cucumber seedlings growing just in case the ones I planted in the ground. I also have some more Bibb lettuce seedlings growing inside on my windowsill. I forgot to sow more black seeded Simpson seeds though. I’ll start some tomorrow. Once I harvest the lettuce I planted a couple of months ago, I’ll put more lettuce seedlings in the ground. I’m surprised at how fast lettuce grows in a couple of months.

Lettuce Seedlings 21 days (click to enlarge)

Tomorrow, I’m going to plant some lime basil seeds and goji berries I got from a trade. My trade partner also surprised me with some royal burgundy bean seeds too. I’m super excited about this one since I’ve wanted to try a purple podded bean this season. I really hope they sprout. I also got some bean seeds from a friend from yougrowgirl. She gave me some trionfo violetta beans. I might wait to start bean seeds later in the season when the weather warms up considerably. I think I’ve been starting them too early and they need heat to germinate. My bean experiment isn’t over yet. I’m just postponing it. Any advice on bean seed starting? I’ve had the most terrible luck. Well, I guess that’s all for now. I’ll take more pictures of my garden tomorrow morning. Until then, happy gardening!

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Garden Update 03-29-08

Okra Seedlings (click to enlarge)
Today I was busily spending lots of time in the garden. I moved my bell pepper seedlings, dill, fennel, Mexican Honey tomato and stock seedlings into bigger pots. I also planted more radishes (watermelon radishes) into the ground as well as sunflower, asparagus peas, and black zucchini seedlings.

I’m also going to attempt to try getting some green beans to sprout. I have some seeds I got from a trade and my coworker gave me some the other day. I am soaking some purple peacock, romano, top crop, and tendergreen beans tonight so I can plant them tomorrow. I truly hope they sprout! Wish me luck. I also plan on planting some more nasturtiums seeds. I have some that have sprouted but I hope to grow a bunch. They look so pretty last year.

On Friday, I planted more flower seedlings: zinnia-thumbelina, aster, marigold, lams ear, calendula and sunflower maximillon. I noticed that I didn’t have enough flower seedlings the other day. I believe my veggie seedlings

I also put some stakes down to distinguish my square foot garden and I noticed that I had six squares empty. I think I’ll plant more herbs like basil in some of the squares but I don’t know what else. I need some low growing veggies b/c my these squares are in front of my cucumbers and tomatoes and they need as much sun as they can get. Any suggestions?

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Tomato Transplanting and Cucumber Seed Starting

I also transplanted one of my patio tomatoes into one of my self-watering containers and one of my supersweet 100s tomato in a 5-gallon bucket. I also rearranged my white garden shelves to the other side of the patio. Before, the shelves were in direct sunlight during the day and hogging up the sun from my containers so I simply moved them and now I extended my garden by 4 feet! In its place, I put the self-watering pots and tomatoes in its place. Now, the tomatoes will have 6-8 hours of sunlight instead of 3-4 hours when it was next to the fence. I decided to move it today because there’s a chance of rain tomorrow and Tuesday.

It’s amazing how over a span of one year, your garden can be transformed from a barren canvas to a live and yieldy garden. Last year was my first true attempt at gardening and I haphazardly placed plants in empty spots due to my lack of gardening knowledge. For example, I wanted honeydew melons so I thought I could grow it in my little 6′ x 7′ garden. However, I didn’t know that melons required a lot of space and by the end of summer, it had not only taken over half of my garden but also half of my concrete patio! This year, I’m more organized and have a new approach to gardening called “Square Foot Gardening” and it’s the best. I can grow so much more in such a little amount of space! It’s just wonderful! Right now, I’m growing an assortment of onions, lettuce, swiss chard, radishes, and turnips, all in one half of my garden. Compared that to the honeydew melon plants that took up half of my garden and only yielded me with 2 melons! Yes, you got it right, 2 melons!

Here’s a picture of last year’s garden:

This spring and summer, I’ll be growing tomatoes (4-5 different kinds that include patio, supersweet 100s, marglobe, roma, and jelly bean), peppers (bell, peruvian, kung pao, and jalapeno), squash, cucumbers, onions, garlic, peas, cilantro, and so much more!

This year’s garden using Square Foot Gardening Techniques

I have peas along the fence (Oregon Giant, Dwarf Grew and another one), strawberries (Sequioa), geraniums are in pots on the shelves (I propagated this from stem cuttings last winter and they’ve grown like weeds!), there are also some seeds I started here in the salmon-colored flats (mostly flower seeds), and you can see my tomatoes on the table.

I also planted some cucumbers and squash this morning. I planted Straight 8 cucumbers, Marketmore cucumbers, and a bush type cucumber. For squash, I planted early prolific straightneck. Hopefully, we will get a lot of squash and cucumbers this year.

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Cool Weather Gardening

The rain is gone for the rest of the week. Sunshine is predicted for today through Monday then the rain comes back for a second round for Monday night and Tuesday. I plan on putting some cool weather vegetables in tomorrow and this weekend. I need to transplant my Swiss chard, onion, lettuce, and radish seedlings into the ground. The nights have been dipping into the mid 30’s so I think I should be fine with putting those crops in the ground. Besides, if it gets really cold, I could just cover it with my makeshift cover I have (it’s basically a very large Tupperware box that has a crack in it) or with some old sheets. Either way, I can’t wait to get dirty. I also need to start some basil seeds for the spring. I have basil in almost everyplace I have tomato plants so that means I’ll need a lot of basil seedlings.

I’m still planning my little plot of dirt (6’ x 7’) according to the square foot gardening guidelines. I absolutely love this method and this will be my first year attempting it so wish me luck. The book was a very easy read too. I think I read most of it in a couple of days. I have tomatoes, peppers (different varieties of course including bell pepper, Peruvian pepper, jalapeno pepper, Kung pao pepper, and long cayenne peppers), cucumbers, squash, eggplant (black beauty), strawberries, and peas. I’m also attempting to grow more flowers this year. I want several that I can cut and put in vases for my apartment.

My strawberry bareroot plants have signs of life after a week of rain and sunshine. I see one green leaf emerging. I hope they all perform well. They were really inexpensive so if they don’t produce, it’s ok.
I went to home depot this morning and saw so many plants I want to get. Instead of impulsively buying everything I saw (which included aloe, a snake plant, ming aralia, hanging prayer plant, bok choi, and ever bearing strawberries) I resisted and wrote everything I wanted down. I’ll research how to grow them and see if it’s my spring plans. If so, I’ll be going back there to pick them up!

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