Monday, April 4, 2011

tiered garden, part 3

with the boxes built as seen here and here, we're ready to get our gardening on. you'd think i'd have a greener thumb than i actually do, seeing that my maternal grandparents owned a nursery with umpteen greenhouses + my paternal grandmother was a master gardener. but no, i needed help.

luckily, i'm on the catalog mailing list of Gardener's Supply Company. they have a very handy online kitchen garden planner tool to help you plan your garden. there are pre-planned gardens or you can customize your own based on your dimensions and choice of veggies. it'll tell you how many of each to plant using the square foot gardening method, briefly described in this post and also give you planting/care tips for each vegetable you select. i used this handy chart on companion planting to determine the optimal placement for each plant.
[kitchen garden planner from gardener's supply]
based on this planner, we went to Lowe's to pick up the soil + plants. for soil, we calculated 20 cubic feet + opted for a mix of Miracle Gro garden soil, topsoil, and fertilizer (manure). for plants, each square will hold:
  1. 1 green bell pepper
  2. 1 yellow bell pepper
  3. 1 seed packet of okra
  4. 2 cucumber seedlings
  5. 1 straightneck summer squash plant
  6. a bunch of texas sweet onion plants
  7. 2 tomato plants - one big boy, one hybrid
  8. 1 greek oregano
  9. 1 poblano pepper
  10. 2 sweet basil
  11. 1 citronella mosquito plant [this wasn't in the original plan, but figured it'd be a nice addition once we add the bench; there wasn't any broccoli, so we swapped them out]
  12. 1 sage
  13. 1 thyme [planted this with the sage]
  14. 1 packet mesclun green seeds, 1 packet arugula, 1 packet lettuce
  15. 1 packet spinach seeds
  16. 1 strawberry plant
*did you know that the plant tags now have QR codes? this is so clever!

we filled our boxes with soil: about 2 parts Miracle Gro, 2 parts top soil, 1/2 part manure. i filled the boxes to about 1 inch of the rim. i used masking tape to mark my 12" sections for the square foot gardening method. then i began planting, following my handy map.

we're really excited about the garden! no back-breaking labor, no weeds, and hopefully a healthy, fresh crop in the coming months. next, we'll be adding the bench to the front of the planter, laying patio pavers to extend the living space, and assembling the patio furniture. but first, we need a nap.

the planting part of the project only took 30-45 minutes. i probably spent more time planning what to plant than actually planting.

soil + vegetables: $120 [we had a few bags of soil left over, but they'll be put to use another time]

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