I was reorganizing my ‘kitchen’ books recently and found an old 1980’s book called “Square Foot Gardening”. I read it cover to cover and loved it. My more green thumbed friends pshawed the method and said that it was silly or that it was waste of time… well, I’m happy to say that so far I’ve grown 18 radishes, 2 cucumbers and 8 Hungarian wax peppers. I’ve learned a lot along the way but next spring I will be getting my garden ready a lot earlier and water a lot more often. But the book was right. I haven’t had to spend more than just maybe an hour a week on my garden.
Basically you can grow a certain number of a certain kind of plant in a square foot. No more rows! It’s set up so that you can reach everything without stepping on the soil and letting it stay ‘fluffy’. Throughout the season you only really had to tend to each square foot as needed. I tried to grow lettuce, that was a failure, evidently I started way too late and it got way too hot. Lesson learned! BUT the cucumbers and tomatoes are doing quite well!
I used yarn to ‘draw’ the square feet, the fence came from the dollar store, and Hubster built the lovely ‘trellis’ with a bit of pipe and twine. Pretty cool huh? I used plastic spoons to label the plants / seeds. The writing faded quite quickly though. Next year I’ll make something a bit more lasting.
Using plant clips from the dollar store I was able to ‘teach’ the cucumber to grow up the trellis and not along the ground. I planted two seeds. Next year I will start the seeds a lot earlier and those two plants will produce enough cucumbers for my small family for the whole summer.
First cucumber of the season! The rest of my garden became a little overgrown with weeds since it was SOOO hot outside. My father, who comes from a long line of farmers, informed me that I could just lay newspaper over the unplanted sections and that would keep the weeds away. Sure enough. It worked! I have a bell pepper plant that is growing through a square of newspaper with no weeds in sight!
I gave Kidster the cucumber and she walked around with it, nibbling on it, for about an hour. She was really made when I tried to take it away!
This was my first growing season in our new house and I’m pretty happy with how it has turned out so far. No reason to use a whole packet of seeds when you can use a few and store the rest in the fridge for next year!
Next week I’ll show you how to propagate your basil and use it too!
What is YOUR favorite garden veggie?