Friday, May 23, 2008

Night Gardening

So this year with a big yard we decided to go all out and plant a garden. The last few places we've lived have not necessarily been such garden friendly locales. When I was out in Iowa I was watching general conference and afterwards they have a 30 minute "report" about the church around the world. So I was watching and it showed the church teaching people in other countries how to garden using the "square foot method." So I looked up more about it and bought the book. I decided if I was gonna garden I was gonna try it this way. It's hard to describe it (basically raised garden beds with a new mix of soil, then a special way of spacing seeds that supposedly produces twice as much harvest in half as much space as normal gardens) but if you wanted to find out more about it you can visit the website here.
This is us assembling two of our three 4 foot by 10 foot boxes. We just used 2x12 pine. It's probably best to used pressure treated lumber but Darik couldn't find it . . . so anyway. Then fill it up with 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 compost. It says you only need soil 6 inches deep (in the book they lay down a weed barrier material first but we are too cheap . . . so we may be weeding a little bit more than the book says we should).
One box finished, the other on its way.
At this point it's probably past 10 pm. The moon was really bright that night so we could actually still see well enough to mix the soil.
This is just a side note -- I know I'm getting old when my basketball shorts from the JV team in high school lose all elasticity. I pulled em on -- and the elastic didn't bounce back. I feel old. And all night gardening I was struggling to keep the darn things up. They were literally hanging on for dear life at this point (which was funny) so we took a picture -- now that I'm looking at it I'm kind of embarrassed I'm just posting a butt shot. Oh well.
The next day after we installed our square foot grids. You plant by the foot -- so if beans can be spaced every 3 inches, you can drop 9 of them in a 3x3 pattern in one little square. The box without the grid has one box has 10 corn, 1 pumpkin, 2 squash, and 1 zuchinni -- I didn't need a grid because they all need massive space requirements (3x3 feet almost). The grid box is planted with lots of beans, carrots, a few strawberries, lettuce and marigolds and nasturtiums. I still need to put my herbs in.
All of these pictures are over a few days. Because another night we put up the last of our three boxes. This is the one that will contain our climbing plants (8 tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, 2 cantaloupe, a bunch or peas and a few watermelons) that will grow up a net placed on the pvc pipe. Here's hoping it works! If not Darik will likely never forgive me because the whole thing wasn't cheap. But once you invest the money for supplies at the start you likely have to spend very little money ever again. Here's hoping. I'll report back in a few months.


  1. I've been planting flowers all day-so I feel your pain. A garden is so wonderful, but it can be a lot of work- keep us posted on how it's turning out!

  2. I'm so jealous! I love what you've done and all the research that went into it. I can't wait to see the results!

  3. Good job! It really does look good!

  4. Thats awesome! I would love to have a garden.

  5. You've inspired me. We're hoping to do a vegetable garden now that we've actually got a yard, but don't know where to start. Looks great!