Sunday, July 15, 2012

Gardening

This year we tried square foot gardening instead of the more traditional rows.  If you'd like to know more about that method go here.

This is what I have learned.
Pros:
  • You can get a lot of yield from small spaces.
  • You have less space to weed and water.
Cons:
  • The kids don't really know where they can and can't step until the veggies and herbs really start to grow.
  • The paths between the vegetables need weeding.(These about about 3' wide.)
I love the idea of square foot gardening, but I've come to the conclusion that it works best for raised beds.  That way you don't have to weed the isles between the beds. With raised beds, you are only turning over the dirt inside the bed, not the whole garden, so you can let the grass grow, or use pea gravel, or bark, or whatever you want for the paths that you walk on.    

We didn't use raised beds because we thought it would be easier when gardening season was over to just rototill the whole garden.  Thinking ahead to next year we will either revert back to traditional gardening with rows or do the square foot method with raised beds.   I'm leaning towards raised beds since we have a chipper and because our rototiller is a beast to run.  I'm just not sure how to keep the slugs out of raised beds.  Time for more gardening books from the library for ideas. 
Matthew is adding some string for the beans (that must be why they are called string-beans ;-) 
Pictured clockwise from the front:  grass I need to weed out, lettuce, green beans, herbs, zucchini, blueberry bushes (not pictured) peas and beets are in the center.

Look!  There's one!

Have you ever read the children's book, "A Garden for Groundhog" by Lorna Balian.  It's one of my very favorites!  I can't help but think of it when I see zucchini.  I sort of hope that when Eric and I are empty-nesters that we have a sweet, bit of a farm like the O'Leary's in the book.

A few more things I've learned from this garden (and notes for next year...)
~ Peas grow really tall!
~ They would provide the shade needed for the lettuces.
~ Slug-go works great. 
~ I misunderstood how to plant the green beans using posts and the square foot method.
~While, we don't have tons of things planted, we went slow and easy this year so that we wouldn't get discouraged.  SO glad we did it that way!!

Just a few musings from the potiger.


1 comment:

  1. You don't have to rototill. If you don't walk where you plant and do mulch really well (newspaper & lawnclippings, etc.), earthworms do all your tilling for you! I have raised beds, have never used a tiller, just add fresh compost to the top, do my planting, lay down newspaper and clippings to suppress weeds and encourage worms. This method works beautifully and is less work. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete


I always look forward to reading your comments. Thank you for taking the time to leave one. :-)