Thursday, April 8, 2010

square foot gardening & LOTS of photos!

Warning ~ if you don't like gardening or looking at pretty flower pics, turn away! This is one picture heavy post! hehe
It rained today! Yippee!!! My eyes feel sooo much better. But it won't last for long. Despite the fact that the rain washes away some of the pollen, it also causes things to grow which, in turn, cause more pollen! But, like every year, I know it will be better by next month.

I thought I'd share a few pics of my planter boxes using the "square foot gardening" technique.

Disclaimer ~ I am no garden expert or pro by any stretch of the imagination. I simply took the idea and ran with it in my own way!

Ok, moving on! I already had 2 boxes from last year that I had my hubby build for me. They measure approx 5'x5' and they were made out of (I believe) 2x8 lumber. I had him build a 3rd one for me this year. I filled 1/2 with regular dirt (clay) and the rest with good dirt. My goal is to add more and more good dirt each year.
I used some rope and nails I found in the garage and marked off 1 foot sections on 2 sides of each planter box. Then I simply wrapped the rope/twine around the nails and I was hammering them in. 
I only measured on 2 sides of the boxes and eyeballed it when stretching the rope across. Not going for perfection here people!
In each 1 foot section there are different plants. However, in some spots I filled the squares with the same things. Like with those red onions above, I planted them all the way across all 5 squares. And in my other box I planted cilantro, parsley, oregano, & rosemary in either 2 squares next to each other or left the square next to it empty to leave room for it to spread.

From what I've read, the idea is that once you harvest a plant from that 1 foot section you replace it with something else. Of course, some of mine will stay there all season like the herbs & tomatoes & flowers. I added some flowers in some of the squares for some color & visual interest.

I have to say I really like the look of the squares and it seems like it will be easier to maintain than 1 huge box. We'll see. I'll share pics in a couple months when everything starts filling in. See, here's some little cauliflower sprouts coming up!
Check out these cute little stones I found at Joanns:
I wish they had all the spices but all I could find was oregano, parsley & rosemary. 
I mentioned before that we rented a rototiller and I had my hubby till up all the dirt under and around those planter boxes so that I could plant some bulbs (something that is near impossible to do otherwise with this red clay).

I have bulbs planted in and around the boxes (except for in between the 2 boxes).
I have some green gladiolus bulbs planted all along the back of those boxes along the house. Won't they look pretty when you look out that window and see them? I think so :) I also planted some liatris, lily of the valley, and ranunculus bulbs. Although, I'm not sure if all the liatris tubers will come up. They were really hard to figure out which way to plant! Of course, my mom told me after I had them all planted to plant them sideways. So we'll see!!

As you can see we haven't finished the edging, just some landscape timbers we bought last year. I need a couple more to finish it off. And you can see the third planter box that I haven't finished yet.
In front of the pampas grass I have some daylily bulbs planted. There's also 2 strawberry plants.
My plan is to just let them trail around wherever they want. And along that little section of brick I want to put a trellis (what what I'm not sure yet)

To the right is a little flower pot. Check out this cute little birdie I found at Joanns!
Isn't she cute?? And remember those painted bricks my kids made? Yes, I put those to use in my garden as well :)
Once we get into the full swing of 90+ degree heat summer I don't think those flowers will last. But they look cute for now! And it just dawned on me that they used washable paints so those bricks probably won't stay painted for long. Oh well...

And here's one of my favorite flowers in my garden so far:
Love it! I'm hoping to share my garden journal tomorrow.
Rainy day = bad lighting for photos! I hope I've inspired you to get out in your yard and start planting!!


Tami said...

Your garden looks awesome!! We have to wait until mid to late May to plant here. Can't wait!!

Kellie said...

Love it! I can't wait to see the journal. The bricks need to be repainted with permanent paint. They are adorable and so special. Perfect addition to the garden. Hal said he wanted tomatoes. I can't keep anything alive. :)

Anne Alagna said...

Love it! My husband built me 3 SQ Ft Gardening boxes last summer but with all the other HUGE landscaping issues, I never got the dirt mix to get them planted before fall. I am hoping to get to them within the next couple weeks here... if the Wisconsin weather will hold up.

PS, love the journal too! Puts mine to shame and makes me itchy to make a better one! Thanks for the inspiration.

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