Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Garden and ideas

Hello my wonderful friends from all over the world! It is very late here but I just could not sleep because I have been meaning to do this blog post for a while now and just haven't done it.

As you all know I love to do many things. I love to crochet, to cook, to read, and I love to grow things. I have a goal in mind for my little spot of land here. I would love to have tons of fresh herbs and edibles growing all around me. I have a pretty large family and our grocery bills are very high so gardening/freezing/canning will help reduce our grocery bills drastically.

Now before I get started with pictures, I want to share with you what I do. For most of my edibles, I plant a Square Foot Garden. A square foot garden is made out of raised garden beds usually 4 feet wide by 4 feet long. You can make them as long as you wish but only 4 feet wide because you can easily reach the middle. It would take a while to explain it all here so here is a website that will explain it all better than I can. Also, there is a book which explains it all and is a handy reference guide. I love this book and this method and this is my 2nd year of this gardening.

Now on to the good stuff.

 The picture above isn't of my garden but I wanted to show these lovely signs of spring and warm weather to come. These grassy looking plants are mystery lilies. The grass peeks through early spring and will eventually die. Then out of no where a lily will grow and bloom. I have also planted more lily bulbs in this bed to even it out a bit.

 Ah here you go...this is my first garden bed on the sunny side of my house. It is 4 foot by 8 foot and are 8 inches deep. As you can see it is divided up into squares. This is where the square foot garden comes in. You plant the plants or sow the seeds in these cells. This bed will have starting with the first row on the left going back towards the next bed: 4 tomato plants (1 in each of 1st 4 squares) and 8 cucumber plants (2 in each of next 4 squares). I will build a trellis on this side of the raised bed for the tomatoes and cucumbers to grow up. Row 2 will have: 4 Jalapeno plants (1 each of first 4 squares) and bell peppers (1 each next 4 squares). Row 3 will be the same as row 2. Row 4 (closest to chain link fence) will have dill in the first 5 squares (1 per square) and chives in last 3 squares (4 per square). That is all for bed 1. I hope I am not confusing anyone..please check out links for better understanding)
 Raised bed 2. It is built and divided the same as the first. Starting with the left row: squash in the first 2 squares (1 plant each), bush beans in the next 3 squares (9 plants each square), and corn in the last 3 squares (4 plants each square). Row 2: Squash in the first 2 squares (1 plant each square), okra in the next 3 squares (1 plant each square), and corn in the last 3 squares (4 plants each square). Row 3: Squash in first 2 squares ( 1 plant each), okra next 3 squares ( 1 plant each), and corn in last 3 squares (4 plants each). Row 4: lettuce in first 4 squares ( 4 plants each) and cilantro in last 4 squares (1 plant each). This bed will also have a trellis on the 1st row to support the beans.
 This is my 3rd bed. Left row: Cantaloupe in first 4 squares ( 1 plant each) and watermelon in last 4 squares (1 plant each) this will have a trellis as well to support the vines and fruits) Row 2: Sage (1 plant) in first square, Basil (1 plant) in second square, eggplant in next 3 squares (1 plant each) and broccoli in next 3 squares (1 plant each). The 3rd row will be the same as the 2nd. Row 4: Carrots in first 5 squares (16 plants each square) and onions in the last 3 squares ( 9 plants each)
 Here is a shot of my onions in the top row. Can you see them? I also have my broccoli and lettuce planted as they are cool weather plants.
 I found this great washtub in the basement when we moved into this house. It is perfect for growing potatoes in. I think these are yellow potatoes.

 This picture is of a flower bed on the sunny side of my house. There are two rose plants already here planted by a previous inhabitant of the house. They are gorgeous when they bloom. So in this spot I want to plant 2 blackberry bushes and 1 red raspberry bush. Of course there will be something for them to vine on once they reach that stage (if I ever get around to buying the plants.)
 On the left side of my garden beds right along my house, these peonys are a welcome sign of spring. They are the sorbet ones. They have huge pink flowers that are yellow in the middle. I love them.

 Ok this is a problem for me. The 2 pictures above are of flower beds on either sides of my front steps. I cannot grow anything here so far. You see there are two trees in front of my house and the top photo, once the leaves come in, the bed is completely shaded all day long. On the bottom picture, it gets sunlight in the evenings. So things will grow in the bed on the bottom picture fairly well and everything seems to die in the bed on the top picture. I really want to put hydrangeas here (blue ones) but I dunno if they will thrive. Any of you out there have any ideas what would be good here?
 Oh yeah, I forgot about my strawberry grower is like a topsy turvy. I bought it last year and didn't use it so this year I want to make sure to plant strawberries in here. I will also have mint in containers as well. MMM...sounds like a yummy dessert if you ask me.
 This is an idea picture. I think I am going to plant tulips around this part of my gazebo. I think they will look lovely in bloom. Of course they will have to be different colors.
Finally, In the bare spot (corner of fence) I want to plant a dwarf Japanese maple. They are absolutely gorgeous and they have a slow growth rate. It will add some privacy from my neighbors!

I am sorry for this being such a long and probably boring post but I just had to share what I am doing in my non bloggy time! I will be sure to post pictures of progress made on my garden beds. Please check out the book and website. Anyone can grow a garden in these beds. It is super easy. Also, I don't use the Mel's mix soil because I cannot find big bags of vermiculite anywhere and the little ones are way too expensive for me to use in my beds so I bought some organic garden soil. It works just fine!

Ok I will quit rambling now. I hope you have enjoyed this post and until we meet blessed.


  1. Hi Erin, I'm jealous of your raised beds. I want some and some veggies growing in them. I'll show hubby. I look forward to seeing what you're growing when it's harvest time!

    Hugs from Oregon, USA -- Teresa :-)

  2. Good luck with you planting and growing, its much beter to have homegrown stuff, tastes so much nicer

  3. Erin, I've never gardened... it's not very common in Mexico, as not all houses have gardens, but I have friends that have tried and I know it's not very simple. I found your post very interesting!!! thank you for sharing and explaining... I understood!!
    I hope all of it grows the way you're expecting! I'll wait for the progress pics!

  4. Thank you! My hubby and I are planning a garden for the first time and this sounds perfect! Also, thanks for the link! ♥