May 20, 2009

Gardening, Part 2

I promised to describe the gardening method that we use...Square Foot Gardening.

It's not a new method. It was first written about in the 70s, but I'm sure many of our moms and grandmas used it for years in their kitchen gardens. The basic idea is this: by planting in squares instead of rows, you can grow more veggies in a smaller space with less work. This is perfect for small gardens like ours. Here's the website: I do recommend checking the book out at the library or buying it.

This is our second year using square foot gardening techniques. Last year I grew 16 different types of vegetables and marigolds in just two raised beds. We had enough beans to eat 3-4 nights a week for dinner and I froze about 12-15 quarts. We had more spinach, swiss chard, and romaine than I could ever use and we gave away more than we ate. We had broccoli enough for just about every meal in August and September, plus potatoes, tomatoes, tomatillos, and lots more.

This year I cut back on the types of vegetables but I'm growing more of the ones we use the most of. Broccoli (already harvested our first yummy!), carrots, spinach, chard, garlic, bell peppers, and beans. I do have a tomato but I put it in a pot this year. My husband and I don't like tomatoes, but I'm hoping that a "sugar grape" tomato plant placed right where Camille plays will entice her to try some.

Also in pots we have two blueberry bushes and about 12 strawberry plants. I consider these our snack bushes. Anytime Camille is allowed to eat freely.

Our last plant is an acorn squash that I'm putting in the corner of our yard where it has room to grow.