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The WE2's

SQUARE FOOT GARDENING

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Just about finished picking out what we've grown this year in our square foot garden. Still have lots of green tomatoes, several bell pepper plants, 2 small winter squash plants, and one lady finger eggplant bush. Cleared out all the other squares & put the residual Mel's Mix into the now bare squares, and will cover them over with plastic to keep them ready for next spring's crops. Got all the potatoes, sweet basil and some of our round carrots ready for storage...or to eat! Yummy!

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Going to move our SQFT garden to the west side of the homestead, this yard area is about 2 1/2 times larger and we want to make our garden area larger this coming season. Also, son needs the smaller back yard for his dogs...and we won't want to wade "poop" when we go to our work area this spring! We've told him to clean it up...guess we'll have to be more firm! He's not paying rent so it will be a "pick it up or get rid of the dogs!" Hoping to buy 3 or 4 working rabbit/does and a buck to start this spring. Used to raise them big time...so I know what's ahead. BUT...son's got the job of caring for them since he's "rent free" and expected to take care of things around there.

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Look for the Square Foot Gardening book at the library.

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We had our library bring in a copy of Mel's latest edition (there was an earlier one...you don't want that one since it's a little more labor intensive) and then decided it was what we wanted to do so purchased our own copy. He's also got videos on the tube. We were absolutely, totally amazed at how much easier it was to tend the garden once we had it put together. No weed pulling (other than a few springs here and there) and we could reach each and every square without tromping around on "dirt" and no tilling, etc. Be sure to not plant too many seeds in each 1x1...or you'll find yourself thinning, and this next season I'll use tomato stakes instead of netting on poles. Also, squash will have it's own spot, they spread out and took over one whole 4x4 so we couldn't re-plant lettuce or radishes unless we did it in another 4x4 (and they were all taken!) The most labor intense part is mixing the Mel's Mix (which we did on a large tarp), spreading the weed mat, building the 4x4 squares and then putting together the 1x1 squares on each of the 4x4's. You never have to do it again, just add some compost here and there when you harvest. That's why we can move our 4x4's wherever we want without having to dig, clear, de-weed, till etc. just by putting the Mel's Mix in buckets and moving our 4x4's. We then used pvcp pipe and made a "tent" over the top of each 4x4 so we were able to start our plants 2 months earlier than normal because when the forcast said frost, we put opaque plastic over top of the "tent" poles (or domes?) and the frost didn't hurt them at all. Also, when they forcasted heavy rain or hail, we "tented" them. Be sure to water MORE than they call for though!!! The Mel's mix has absolutely NO dirt in it so it behaves very differently from regular soil. We love ours and wouldn't go back to traditional gardening unless we had no choice. Nearly had more veggies than we could keep up with and kept my dehydrators (3) going for days! LOL Here's some pics you might enjoy of our preps.

ps....the grey buckets had holes in bottom with Mel's Mix and was our potatoes (which didn't turn out too well because we'd planted Yukon gold's)

Edited by Philbe

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I am doing raised beds / foot gardening. Yes my square foot gardening boxes will be raised why to keep the dog from digging everything up. LOL I am also looking into drawf fruit trees and planting them in half wiskey barrels since we are just renting I really don't want to plant something that I have to leave behind. Can't have chickens because here where we live you are required to have 50 feet between their dwelling and human dwelling. Our house is built further back on the lot and we do not have 50feet in the back only 40 :-(

 

I have already started drawing out plans for the garden spices will be planted in gutters hung on the side of the carport. They will get the afternoon sun. Lettuce will be planted in the back where it will get the morning sun and protected from the hot afternoon sun. I am actually looking into planting it under the frame that I plan on building for the cucumbers and squash. Their shadow will provide protection from the sun. Tomatoes will be planted on the south west side of the house so they will get the most sun. Plan on building some round beds for beans and using teepe type supports for the runners.

 

Oh so much to do. Need to take an inventory of my seeds and see what I am going to need to order.

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You can trellis runners like squash and melons to save space. Keep the melons from coming off too soon by putting them in a stocking and tying the stocking to the trellis. Of course, you would want to plant melons that stay small like Sugar Baby.

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Here's the current status of our SQFG system this year. Even though they went through the unexpected snow storm they did fine (we draped opaque plastic over the "hoops". There was actually moisture beads under the plastic the next day so we lifted a corner for a little while. This is my first year having a 4x4 of herbs etc. The Stevia is absolutely wonderful & sweet! Wish I'd planted more. Clipped some chives, two kinds of parsley, two kinds of Thyme and dried them in my microwave on the "defrost" setting, then crushed them in my marble mortar & pestal & into baggies they went! Kitchen smelled SOOOO good! Thought I'd share some pics with my friends!

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Your garden is so neat and orderly! It's really pretty. Looks like your potatoes are doing great too. :feedme:

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Pulled a few early onions so I could use some of the greens as well as the bulbs for "table onions". I still have six 1x1's full that I'll let get bigger. Went to one of the local farmer's markets and bought just a few of their zuchinni, yellow squash, tomatoes, radishes & bell peppers etc. Can't wait for our to come in. We're really enjoying "cold plates" for supper other than a small portion of meat and alot of veggies & fruits with our eggs for breakfast. We want to "wean" ourselves off alot of the meats since we're becoming older & don't want the "stuff" that's in meats now days...and...if stuff goes haywire, we may not have many meats. Figure we'll buy free range (even though it's pricey) and just eat very small portions with lots of veggies & fruits etc.

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Went by garden this afternoon after we had our anniversary dinner and took some pics to share with y'all. Blanched and froze a mess of green beans today, as well as some chard, yellow squash and made a quart of pico de gallo, and vacume sealed in 2 containers some tomatoes. My berry bushes didn't do much, 2 are first year plants and 2 are 2nd year plants. I'll cut them back this fall and hopefully they'll do better next year. Here's my sharing pics...

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Nice Philbe! I'm envious....I have lots of plant and very few veggies. We'd be starving if we actually had to depend on this years garden.

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Ya know DM4...we realized last year (even with a robust harvest) that it wouldn't be enough to feed us enough through the winter-spring to another harvest. So we expanded this year, and again (even with a robust harvest seemly to come on) we know it would not be enough. We'd eat, but not nearly what we would consider adequate. However, this year was an experimental expansion year for us, putting in things we didn't have last year, and watching to see what grows best and produces accordingly. Like you, we'd be in a pickle if something drastic happened. We'd surely be depending on our pantry storage to carry us through to next year's garden.

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Looking good Philbe! I've told son that during a disaster we'd eat but it wouldn't be pretty! I'm working on it though.

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