Friday, October 10, 2008

Gardening plans

Last night I ordered a bunch of open-pollinated seeds. I am planning on starting one of those square-foot gardens this spring. I bought and read the book, but I'll hold of on reviewing it until I actually try the techniques. Sounds like a good idea, even if the author comes across as a pompous ass most of the time. The layout is terrible and hard to read. Lots of little bubbles of text crowd most pages with blurbs from the exact page the bubble is on and stuff. Like one quote from the book "Your Square Foot Garden needs to have a grid of 1' squares or it's not a Square Foot Garden!" How about I grid or not grid my garden as I see fit you horses' ass?

I have some definite issues with where I can put my garden, with maintaining enough sun and security. I got a few months to figure it out. I plan on having a 8' by 4' garden to start. That's enough to keep me in veggies and salads all summer. I'll be growing lettuce, beans, tomatoes, some peppers, carrots, cucumbers, onions, garlic, corn, and herbs. The corn and beans are more of an experimentation than any real amount of production. I don't have enough yard to grow enough food for myself, but I want to try to grow it as a learning experience. Plus, I'll turn it all to seed so I have more seed than I started with.

I'm going bargain hunting for gardening supplies, I might find enough supplies to get me started. for a 32 sq ft garden I need 12 cubic feet each of three ingredients: compost, peat, and vermiculite. I figure with fall coming hard as hell I might be able to score some supplies cheap.

Basically, you put down weed cloth, and build a frame of 2x10 boards (might be 2x8) for the perimeter of the garden. Then drop the frame on the ground over the weed cloth, and shovel in the mixture. Water the snot out of it and your ready to roll. The book is lacking a lot of basic gardening stuff, like which plants are self-pollinating and which are not. I got more research ahead of me, but at least I got he ball rolling.

My yard is open to the streets and neighbors, and dominated by three big maples and a MONSTER oak tree. The back yard is the most secure, but it is completely shaded. To the point that I need to powerwash the house regularly to get rid of the mildew and algae growing on the house. Perhaps I'll increase the fencing for my dogs so they can protect the garden in the side yard. That gets the most sun, by far.

We had a garden, a few years as a kid, but Dad wouldn't take care of it or show me how to. So the plants wouldn't do well and the produce would be diseased or rot. This is a big project for me, I hope I can keep up with it all. I'm about as far removed from an agrarian society as you can get. But these skill will be valuable if things keep tanking they way they have been.


Patricia said...

A couple of suggestions: don't bother with the corn. It takes up a LOT Of room. You can't grow enough in that space to be worth the bother or the loss of space to grow other, better-suited veggies. Maybe do a couple of potato hills instead. Or get a couple of old tires and grow your spuds in those.

I won't be growing lettuce again--there's too many free and tasty weeds for me to bother with growing something... :)

Good luck! Don't worry about pollination--the bugs will take care of that for you.

Phillip said...

We built two raised beds in late spring spring and added two more smaller ones (2x6) this fall, but the bulk of our produce this year still came from traditional rows
It's certainly easier to keep up with the weeds in these!
We're going to shift more to the raised beds as we go along.
Keep us posted on your progress.