Friday, April 15, 2011

Update- Garden and life

Good morning my wonderful friends. Thank you very much for your comments on my last post. I have been very busy in my garden getting it ready, caring for, and planting. I have a nice peeling sunburn to prove it :). The weather here for the past few days has been great for garden tending. Warm, sunny. But it will end today. Going to be cooler (in the 60s) and rainy all weekend.

How bout I show you what I have been doing.

 I live in a small old town in Ohio USA. There are some older homes in the city which have huge yards but my yard is very small. As a matter of fact, my house takes up most of my tiny lot. That is why I chose square foot gardening. The concept is you can produce as much as row gardening by using this method with less space, less waste of resources (seeds, fertilizer, water), and less work. The start up costs for the materials: boxes, soil, grids, trellises can be a little pricey but you will make up for it the first growing season. Last year was my first season and I only planted one full box and half of the next. I had tons of tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupes, peppers. This year I planned better and I am sure I will grow enough food to eat, can/freeze, and donate to our local food pantry.

The above picture is looking at my garden area from my front yard. My front yard faces the west, this area faces South. As you can see, I have my beds mulched around, some marigolds planted around them (marigolds are natural pest repellents), and I have my trellises made.

 This is the a close up picture of my last bed. You can see the trellis is made up of 3/4 inch pvc pipe and elbows. It is attached to the bed by brackets and screws. The grid on the trellis is made of a medium grade nylon rope.

 Above you can see my blackberry plants. The one on the left is a little sick right now. He had too much water.  Both of my blackberry bushes are Triple Crown Thornless blackberries. They do not need a pollinator.
 Here is my raspberry bush. It is a Williamette raspberry. It does have thorn and also does not need a pollinator. They seem very happy in this bed.

 This picture shows two trash cans. The forward one is my compost can. The further back one is my rain can.

 Here is my beds all lined up looking from my back yard toward the front yard. I am very lucky because I have a gazebo just steps away from my garden. I can sit in there and watch the plants grow.

 The gazebo. I have snapdragons planted in front of it here. BUT I also have gladiolus corms planted. They are the red white and blue variety. I am sure later on they will look stunning around this gazebo.

 Here is the whole thing. I want to plant a bush or tree or something on the right hand side for some privacy. I also want to get some bamboo shades for it as well that can be drawn when the sun is too hot or when the neighbors are outside.

 Here is my bareroot strawberry plants in their hanging planter. This is the first time I have ever tried to grow strawberries this way. They are starting to turn green though so I hope I get tons of strawberries this year.

 Can you see? I have a potato plant coming up in my potato tub. Makes me happy to see things sprouting!

Half of my dining room table has been taken over by plants. I have Rosemary and lavender here.

 These cups have tomato, eggplant, and chive plants I have started. They were transplanted into cups yesterday.

 Mint is very invasive from underground so I opted to put it in a pot instead. I cant wait to have mint tea.

The plants left in this tray are Jalapeno, bell pepper, and sage. There are still a couple of eggplant seedlings emerging. They love the sunlight in this south facing window.

There you have my garden at a glance. I still want to add some things to it to make it a paradise. Add a swing and some benches. Maybe a solar powered fountain. I know I will continue to add to it as the season progresses and I catch stuff on sale.

Here are some very helpful links that I have been using and the information has been priceless:
Square Foot Gardening Website - the forums have great info and are free
Square Foot Gardening book - This book is a couple hour read and breaks down the concept and process of building your garden. It is so easy. I have talked to 70 year old men doing this type of gardening and loving it even though they have farmed or row gardened all their life. If you start this type of garden please get the book. It has wonderful information on seed start dates and planting.
Average frost dates - here is a great website for all my US followers to find your average Last/First frost dates
Garden Girl- She has an urban garden that produces well. She has videos and tons of info available.
Average frost dates for UK
Square foot Garden in action. Start with video 1. It shows her square foot garden from beginning to end. Great info!

I hope you all buy the book and start your own garden. Most people just start one 4x4x6 garden. You can do one that is 2 feet wide but no more than you can reach. All of my garden beds are 4 feet wide, 8 feet long, and 8 inches deep. I can grow anything I want in them. The key is to start small. See how much you grow and expand if you want to grow more. Once again, the book is wonderful!

Oh and to recap what I will be growing this year is: red onion, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, Jalapeno pepper, chives, sage, basil, rosemary, lavender, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, mint, lettuce, broccoli, carrot, garden bean, squash, corn, cilantro, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, okra, and dill.

I will see how much I produce this year and I will adjust for next year if I need to.

I hope you all enjoy your day. Thank you for stopping by!
Be blessed y'all


  1. Erin, I'm very impressed with your industriousness! I look forward to seeing the garden as it grows. You'll love the mint, we have peppermint, spearmint, lemon mint and chocolate mint!! It's great to stick some fresh mint in ice water and especially iced tea.

    Hugs from Oregon, USA -- Teresa :-)

  2. I'm sure you'll have a lot of produce Erin!!! That is great! I can't wait to see how all of it grows!! keep sharing!