April 12, 2010

Sparky's Adventures in Agriculture - The Garden

I have opted to use square foot gardening for the majority of my garden. I started four years ago using the book below as a reference.
That year (year one) we had a decent garden. The soil mix used was fabulous! No weeds, and the plants grew with not a ton of help on our part some days. The next year (year two) I traveled for work for most of the summer so I didn't even plant a garden. Last year (year three) we used some of the mixture that had been sitting for a couple years and so we had problems with weeds. Then to top it off we had squash bugs (they are SO gross looking)
Told you! The squash bugs ruined the pumpkin plant and a couple squash plants (as the name would indicate) so it was a little less successful than I would have liked but we did get a good amount of yellow and green zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, and lemon cucumbers.

Moving on to this year. . .First I found the My Square Foot Garden website
that has tons of helpful information. I found the zone I am in and I now receive weekly emails regarding what I should plant (or should have planted). It has been a great resource.

Second (remember first is above) I am starting most if not all items from seeds. I made an Excel workbook that includes a worksheet with the seed information, a worksheet of the seed placement in my starting flats, and a garden plan. I used the companion planting file provided on the My Square Foot Garden site. I am a tad behind because I haven't purchased the ingredients for the soil mixture. Normally once you make the mix you will not need to make it again, you just need to add compost to it each year. Over the last couple years we moved the beds and combined the mix with top soil and now it just isn't a good mix. So we are starting fresh this year and we will maintain it better so we don't have to worry about weeds or purchasing the soil mix ingredients again.

I haven't started the outdoor part of gardening yet as I have yet to get the items for the mix. I wanted to get this up so if anyone out there is interested in getting a garden started this year they could see that it isn't too late. The steps on the My Square Foot Garden website are easy to follow and you can sign up to receive an email each week for your specific zone.

I will post again in the next week or so with a list of the seeds I have started. (I know, I know, exciting stuff. I am sure you will all be waiting with bated breath.)

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