Sunday, June 17, 2012

Home Grown Part 2: Get growing

Picking up from where I left off in Part 1, I needed somewhere to plant the seeds once they sprouted. The soil in our backyard is terrible, so raised planting beds was our best option. To optimize space, I did research on square foot gardening, and drew up plans for the beds.

The hardest part of the gardening process was assembling the beds. My brother Matt helped me pick up the lumber from Lowes, and my dad came over one gorgeous Sunday to help me put them together. Roughly following these instructions, we built three 6 x 8 x 1 beds. It took an extra 2 days for me to shovel the six yards of compost I had delivered into the beds. Good thing I had help from Logan!

Logan helping to build planters
My handsome little helper!
With some research into companion planting, I planted seeds and transplanted seedlings into each of the beds. This first bed contains peas, eggplants, peppers, beets, carrots, leeks and celery. The eggplant and peppers are a little slow to get going, but everything else is thriving! The first of the peas are coming in and will be ready for harvest soon.

Bed #1, not sure why all these look blurry here

The second bed has beans, tomatoes, asparagus, lettuce and celery. I have the beans in this bed and the peas in the first bed growing up pieces of wood I've found on the beach. So far so good!

Bed #2

One sweetie tomato has already made an appearance!
Garden markers I've made using wine corks and chopsticks or driftwood twigs.
The third bed I built is a melon patch. There are two mounds of watermelon and one mound of cantaloupe. They're a little slow to get going, but I'm hoping they'll take off as the summer starts.

Zucchini, summer squash, and an assortment of winter squash went into an existing planting bed constructed with cement blocks. They're thriving, and I'm anticipating lots of squash this summer and fall!

Squash bed. I hope my family and friends like squash.
A flowering summer squash
My favorite planter is my pallet garden. I wrapped a pallet in hardware cloth from Lowes, stapled it in place, and filled it with compost. I placed it on the ground and planted herbs in the rows. They're all growing well, but my cilantro is really taking off!

A pallet wrapped in hardware cloth
It got a little beat up from the weed whacker, but it's still doing well!
Besides the beds and pallet, I've planted in containers, too. The carrots I've started in a container indoors are almost ready for harvest. Logan has been feasting on the strawberries I have growing in pretty pots on the patio table. The mint I bought a couple months ago are also doing very well in pots I found at my moms house.

Watching my garden flourish has been such a fun experience so far. It's so satisfying literally watching my hard work pay off. I'll keep these posts coming as the garden grows!

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