Our garden started out as a few tomato and pepper plants in six orange, Home Depot buckets under the carport. Then Bruce decided to build three, 4×8′ raised garden beds. We then filled them with mushroom soil and vermiculite. Then I realized, we are Square Foot Gardening!
We were a little late getting stated this year. The last frost was probably in late April, right around when we moved into the house. At first we didn’t think we would have a garden. There was so much to do with moving, cleaning, unpacking, painting… it still isn’t all finished. The garden is proving to be a bigger project than I think we both anticipated. The first week was spent building the beds. During the second week we put down cardboard and newspaper to block the grass, then filled them with three truck loads of mushroom soil. Today we began planting.
So far this year we have planted from seed sweet corn, pole beans, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots and transplanted roma tomatoes, bell and habanero peppers, straight eight and pickling cucumbers and green okra. I thought I knew what I was doing from all of my years in Sodbusters, but Square Foot Gardening is completely different. I’m learning that the plants can grow closer together, yield more fruit and we can save water by using the soaker hoses.
Already, after one day of my care, the okra and cucumbers may not make it. We purchased the plants from the Home Depot. I separated, planted and watered them. The next day my uncovered plants received too much sun and were wilted by noon. My first lesson learned is to allow new plants a few days to get used to the sun before planting them in the garden. I still have hope they will pull through.