Saturday, April 4, 2009

how does your garden grow?

Chances are it's too cold outside for you to start your garden, but luckily living in California has some advantages for me. If you can't plant yet it's always fun to plan. And if you don't have a garden, or think you don't have the space then I have a GREAT book to recommend. It's called: All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. Aside from living in a condo with only a patio, you can't possibly have a smaller backyard than I do. I think from house to fence at the widest part is 9 feet. It's more of a side yard really. Anyway, the book is fantastic! It tells you exactly what to do if you want to plant a garden using raise beds. They are so easy to construct (I went to the lumber store and told them what I needed and the sizes and they cut it for me) and I think they make a garden look nice and organized. My plan is too put pea gravel around my bed. My bed is 4' x 12'. It's then divided into square foot sections. Instead of having tons of space that wastefully gets watered and weeded he's told you how to maximize your space. So, in a square foot of space I can have 4 corn plants growing or one bell pepper. Make sense? I also have soaker lines that come on when the other sprinklers do. This may be cheating a bit, but I'm not so great at remembering to water...

Buy the book. He goes through so many things - especially if you live in a cooler climate (I think he's from Utah). He goes over a lot of plants, when to plant them, harvest, what you can do with them, how to extend your seasons, etc. The only thing I wish he added was more on pest control. But other than that, the book is invaluable to me.

If you can't imagine carving out a space in your back yard for a garden, but love a garden tomato, then plant a tomato plant in your flower bed where a sprinkler will water it. I gave my SIL a tomato plant last year and she just stuck it in her flowerbed. It was huge and had tons of tomatoes on it! You can buy fun bamboo stakes to keep the tomato upright and it looks nice in your yard.

Gardening can be as difficult or as easy as you make it.




5 comments:

lynne said...

liz! you are so awesome!! i need to get going.

Tammy said...

We used the square foot gardening up in Oregon it is a fabulous space saving way to have a garden growing!!!

Jen said...

This looks sooooo good! Every step of gardening is a thrill; from planning to pruning! I can't wait to see the stages of yours!
♥Jen

MilewskiFamily said...

What a lovely SFG! We, too, are trying it this year and have radishes already popping up and some others are finally showing their greens! :) It's awesome living in CA and doing it, too! However, whereever did you find the vermiculite? We finally used soil and compost as we couldn't find the vermiculite anywhere!

liz said...

i had to use 1 bag of vermiculite and 1 bag of perlite because HOME DEPOT didn't have enough of one or the other. and - it's expensive! $25 a bag if i remember right... but, i think you need it... either one of them give the soil space for air.

good luck in your garden!!