Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Garden

Finished beds
I had some extra time this winter to research which is dangerous. I decided that the Sokol family needed to try square foot gardening. So this year for my birthday, I asked for raised beds. Steven and I built them in two days. Quite a bit of work. I was so optimistic at the beginning. You know how you are at the beginning of a project, you think this is going to be fun. By the end of the project you are hoping it will just be over. It was a lot like that.
What is square foot gardening you ask... Well, square foot gardening is a technique advocated by Mel Bartholomew. It has small raised beds, a special soil mix, and closely planted plants. The small beds are used so the soil is not walked on (and thus compacted). Grids are used sectioning the bed into squares and different plants are planted in each square (so you don't have rows of plants). The number of plants per square depends on  the type of plant. For instance one pepper or tomato plant per square but 9 plants per square for spinach.
Steven decided that he was going to include a irrigation system connected to our pump down at the lake. A flip of the switch and instant water. Maybe we will even put it on a timer.

The before picture
 Halfway through the project I wondered what I was thinking when I asked for this for my birthday. Why didn't I just ask for more kitchen stuff? I love kitchen stuff. Three fourths of the way through the project I was hoping for Monday to come soon so I could go to work and rest (like I am going to be able to move on Monday).

But I digress, back to the garden.

We made the raised beds out of untreated lumber "sealed" with boiled linseed oil. I so hope they last longer than a year. The soil was a mixture of soil, compost, peat moss, and capsulized gypsum. All and all it was a lot of work. But they look beautiful.
Mixing the dirt
Late Sunday night we finished all of the raised beds, filled them with dirt, and have the grids completed for 6 of the beds. We planted the seeds appropriate for this time of year and it was time to make dinner.  I am making an easy dinner of ham slice, potatoes, green beans, and asparagus to celebrate the season and the completed beds. I am also wondering why I am making dinner at all. But love the combination so it works.
Peach tree in bloom
What am I planting this year? With 8 raised beds and several side gardens the better question is what am I not planting. So here is the list (drum roll please): beets, peas, beans, potatoes, onions, arugula, lettuce, radicchio, radishes, turnips, parsnips, tomatoes, garlic, spinach, peppers, edamame, brussel sprouts, okra, cucumber, carrots, rhubarb, horseradish, asparagus, watermelon, pumpkin, dill, basil, oregano, chives, thyme, sorrel, cilantro, and mint.

We also have fruit trees and shrubs: blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, apple, peach, apricot (at least a year before we have fruit), and currant (at least one year away from fruit). I still want elderberries and cherries. I just can't figure out where to plant them. Oh - we also have walnut and pecan trees.

I am so looking forward to all of the wonderful stuff I am going to cook this spring and summer.

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