Hello! It’s been a few weeks and I thought I’d post a few pictures to show how the garden looks now that summer is nearly here and everything is growing nicely.
I showed you our garden in my last post, but that was before it had been planted for this year. I got all my plants in right after that, so everything has been growing for about a month now and it’s looking great!
You can see in the picture above, we put in some t-posts and covered those with bird netting to keep our berries away from the birds, which was a problem we KNEW we would have (and we did lose a few strawberries before we got the netting up). It’s worked beautifully since we set it up.
In square foot gardening, beds are typically 4′ x 4′. Mine are 3′ x 9′ which suits me better. The beds are then “gridded” out into 1′ x 1′ sections where you plant each specific fruit/veggie. This chart tells you how many of each specific plant to put per square. I follow this rather loosely since I don’t actually grid off my beds. I also look at the planting tags that come on the plants (or seed packets) and adjust my spacing. Typically, I plant things farther apart than square foot gardening calls for, but much closer than recommended on the plant tags.
I try to follow companion planting “rules” whenever I can. Planting certain things next to each other (or keeping them away from each other) has proved to increase yields of crops, improve flavors, and decrease pests and diseases. So I definitely try to plant things according to this. For example, basil improves the taste of tomatoes, so I plant those two next to each other, along with borage which attracts good pollinators like bees and discourages pests like tomato hornworms (ick!).
I’ll do a quick rundown of what I have planted, if that’s something that interests you:
Bed 1, from left to right:
– 1 early butternut squash (planted 3, lost 2 to frost)
– 4 jade cross brussels sprouts
– 4 oregano (between brussels sprouts) [1 cuban oregano , 3 greek oregano]
– 4 zucchini (trellised) [1 ball’s zucchini, 3 heirloom black beauty]
– 6 blueberry bushes [2 bluecrop, 1 perpetua, 1 pink lemonade, 2 other varieties I can’t remember]
– Just as a side note, blueberries often need at least one other variety nearby for cross-pollination in order to produce good blueberries!
– Mint (Garden Tea) [I honestly don’t know the variety and it’s possible it’s a mix of more than one – I pulled this out of my mom’s bed which she had been given from different people as well as grown some of it at her last home. It makes the BEST garden tea, though, and we always have a gallon in our fridge!]
Bed 4, from left to right:
– 4 watermelon (trellised) [2 sangria, 2 crimson sweet]
– marigolds (under trellis)
– 4 cantaloupe [2 ambrosia, 2 burpee hybrid muskmelon]
– 4 watermelon, started from seed [either sugar baby or yellow baby??]
Bed 5, from left to right:
– 21 seascape strawberry plants (under bird netting)
– 3 Borage plants
– 3 rosemary plants (2 tuscan blue, 1 barbeque)
– carrots [kaleidoscope blend, and mix of other varieties]
– 2 dark green italian parsley plants
Bed 6, from left to right:
– 1 spaghetti squash (planted 3, but lost 2 to frost)
– romaine lettuce
– 3 celery plants
– 5 pepper plants [north star, majestic red, golden california wonder, lady bell, purple beauty]
– 2 basil plants (in between peppers) [1 african blue basil, 1 purple ruffles]
Bed 7, from left to right:
– 7 cucumber [Burpless Bush Hybrid]
– 7 tomato plants [Chocolate Sprinkles, Sweet Million, Early Girl, Sunsugar, and two other varieties whose tags have gone missing – I think maybe one is a big boy or better boy – I may be able to figure it out once they are producing.]
– 3 Basil plants [2 sweet basil, 1 amethyst basil]
Ground Bed, from top to bottom:
– 4-5 varieties of sunflowers
– 5-6 varieties of pumpkins
– assorted zinnias
– assorted marigolds
– assorted calendulas
– random “extras” [1 canteloupe, 1 watermelon, 1 cucumber, etc…]
Besides lots of pretty flowers and yummy food, my garden is growing quite a large number of weeds. I have plans to mulch the area in between the beds and all around the outer edge of the garden. We have a ton of mulching to do around the house which will be happening soon, so in between all the trailer loads of mulch, I’m hoping I can sneak in and do the garden!
Also on my radar is getting a fence up around the garden to keep critters out. You guys, we have so many. Critters. Everywhere. And they think my garden is an all you can eat buffet that I planted just for them. It’s not. It’s really not. Eventually I want to have a really nice-looking fence around the whole garden area, but I think we may do something temporary in the meantime. So far, nothing has been eaten, (besides the berries that we covered with bird netting) but nothing else is producing actual veggies yet. The raised beds have a little more protection being higher up, but the ground bed might be a big problem. I’m definitely concerned.
I’m really having so much fun with my garden, which I never thought would be something I’d enjoy. I do think it’s partially because I’ve chosen to only plant things that I don’t mind “dealing with”. I HATE picking, husking, and silking corn, so I didn’t plant any. I HATE picking and shelling lima beans, so I didn’t plant any. Maybe one day growing those things will appeal to me and I’ll give them a try, but for now I’m sticking with things that I find enjoyable. I want working in my garden to give me joy!
Thanks for checking back! I’ll post another garden update again soon. I think a few of the plants are getting close to producing some yummy things!