Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Square Foot Garden

All New Square Foot GardeningMike and I have been doing quite a bit of research on turning our back yard into a garden. We've lived in this house for just over three years. In that time, we've really tackled some problematic areas in the yard including English Ivy and Bamboo. This year the boys and I dug up a little gardening space for tomatoes and lettuce (ok, and broccoli that didn't make it). It was grand. We've grown so many grape tomatoes I just keep giving them away. We loved being a part of our CSA but really want to grow our own food. For our yard, Square Foot Gardening seemed the best bet. We followed the book pretty much to a T. In some of the other areas of the yard that are already in beds I'm planning on doing some lasagna layering this fall in preparation for spring planting of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. I've also been thinking of adding grapes but I have to think about that a little more.'s what we did. The pictures say it all. Well, I guess the captions under the pictures help, too.
We bought 2-2x6x8 foot pieces of lumber and had the store cut them into 4 foot sections. We screwed them together right in the sunroom.
Here's the section of the yard prior to the garden.
Nathan is cutting the weed cover to fit.
Our compost isn't ready to use yet so we had to buy compost. You have to buy several kinds and mix it together to get the right nutrients. Nolan is pouring the poop! (this was composted cow manure).
You can see the color differences in the different types of compost. 
Wow. I need a shower.  Here we have our Mix prior to mixing. 1/3 part compost, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss.
We mixed it by grabbing the ends of the tarp and pulling over and over. It was fun! Here Mike and I are helping things along by playing in the dirt.
Adding the mix to the box. Pull the tarp right up to the side so you don't lose any of that black magic.
Here it is. The giant litter box. Ok, we have LOTS of cats that walk through our yard so we know it needed protection! This is actually right after adding all the mix.
The book recommends using wood lath to make the squares. It was a bit more pricey than we had hoped so we decided to use twine. The box isn't exactly 4x4 as the lumber was off by an inch so my squares are a little crooked. It really doesn't matter.
Here's the finished product with cat and bunny protection in the form of wire fencing. I'll probably get a little more creative with this part next year so it's easier to get into the garden. But...the wire came with the house so I'm happy to be using it!
The fall garden: broccoli, lettuce and bok choy.

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