Well we did it. After rethinking my ability to keep things alive (I killed a gerber daisy plant that I had for less than 2 weeks!), and wondering where I would get the time to maintain such a thing (my kids were a grumpy and my house was a mess for a few days) we went ahead and dug out the garden. By we, I mean my husband. I helped pick out the soil and manure, and of course spent far too much time looking at seeds in the garden centre, but he did the manual labour! We decided against a raised garden bed, simply because it would cost more to make (lumber, nails, brackets, and more bags of soil too) So for less than $20, we had everything
we needed in the back of our van!
It took loads of planning! I have never done a vegetable garden before; I made it much more difficult than it needed to be, but that’s what I do! Over think to the point of exhaustion, and then all of a sudden it comes together as if no planning was needed at all! I decided to go with the Square Foot Gardening style, which is planting in 4 foot by 4 foot boxes, dividing that into 1 foot sections with a different plant in each square. I am not doing 16 different veggies, so there are multiples of some.
With square foot gardening, you have to know how many plants can fit in each square foot. Follow this rule to know how many plants or seeds will fit in each square:
“Depending on the mature size of the plant, grow 1, 4, 9, or 16 equally spaced plants per square foot. If the seed packet recommends plant spacing be 12 inches apart, plant one plant per square foot. If 6 inch spacing; 4 per square foot. If 4 inch spacing; 9 per square foot. If 3 inch spacing; 16 per square foot. (source: Square Foot Gardening)
I have 3 squares for red peppers, 2 for lettuce, 2 for bush beans (locations of beans have since been switched with lettuce, as lettuce likes the shade of the peppers), 5 squares for broccoli (one plant takes up an entire square!), 2 squares for carrots, 1 square for green onions and 1 for turnips.
I also had to know the heights of plants so that I could plant them with the shortest on the west side and the taller on the north and east sides as to not shade any plants. It was like putting together a puzzle in a language I did not know with some pieces missing. What a nightmare! I think I finally figured it all out…but I guess we will have to wait and see if anything actually grows and produces! I just hope I haven’t made a terrible mistake planting certain plants next to others that actually hate each other…
I also have only planted lettuce, carrots, green onions, and turnips so far, since they can handle a little frost, and I hope to get 2 crops out of. The rest will be planted in May when the ground is warmer.
And though super cute little metal veggie markers would have been cute, and I’m sure expensive, I opted to make my own from an empty yogurt container!
UPDATE: I checked on the garden earlier today, and there are sprouts coming up through the soil for the turnips and lettuce so far! So exciting! Only a week in, and I’m already seeing some growth!