Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The latest dirt...

 Well.....the latest dirt is that the square foot gardening has begun!  (The daffodils are up too!)  After we branded the first-calf heifers' calves, I took part of my afternoon and mixed the dirt for one of my square foot raised beds.  I had raised beds before, but this will be the first year I've used "Mel's Mix" and true square foot gardening methods.  I'm excited.

 Here's the dirt..... one part compost, one part vermiculite, one part peat moss.  The measurements are  by volume, not by weight.  Mix it well and we'll be on our way to growing beautiful gardens full of veggies and flowers. 

 The truth is that the initial investment in the soil stuffs is pretty spendy.  Vermiculite is about $16 per 2 cubic foot bag and the peat moss was $17 for a 2.2 cubic foot bag.  I had the compost --- sheep manure -- so that was free for me, but if you had to buy compost, there's another expenditure.    The thing is, this is all you ever have to do except to add in a shovelful of new compost to each square foot every year.  And as I understand, the bounty of this mix is well worth the investment in the long run.
Here's the dirt....all mixed together.  It's light, loamy, soft, and nutrient dense.  The vermiculite and peat moss will keep the soil light and allow it to retain moisture too.  That's another bonus to the soil mixture -- less watering, more moisture.  At this point in time, our water situation is not very good so I may only plant one box unless it rains and runs water between now and the first week of June.  Otherwise, I may be pouring my dishwater on the plants through the summer.  I've sure done that before.  I put a plastic tub in the kitchen sink and after I'm done washing dishes, I carry my tub outside and water the potted flowers and any other plants that need a drink. 

Now for some INSPIRatiON....

I love the plantings in this particular square foot garden box.  It looks like tomatoes on each end and a cucumber vining up in the middle with lots of herbs filling out the front.  Artistic and beautiful!

Check out this table top herb garden.  This would look great on a patio, deck or rooftop.  Here are 10 Square Foot Gardening Ideas for you.  


Aren't these red onions gorgeous?  I never thought of growing them in pots, but why not?  Do you use the square foot gardening method?  I'd love to hear about your garden ideas and successes.

11 comments:

  1. I'm excited to see how your garden grows. I also carefully planted my tiny seeds in little holes like he advised. I'm afraid I didn't add everything to the soil. It is just plain old buffalo compost. I hope you get some rain soon.

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  2. I think I'll plant some peppers this weekend. These photos are inspiring!

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  3. Wow -- some gorgeous ideas Jody! I'm really intrigued by your idea of throwing dishwater on the garden though -- doesn't the soap hurt the plants?

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  4. I admire your work ethic...a lot. Thought of you when I saw this quote:
    Gardens are not made by singing "Oh how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade.
    Rudyard Kipling

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  5. This year my garden will be in pots. Don't know how I feel about it, but it is what it is, yours looks grand. I think it would be wonderful to try. I do love your dirt.

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  6. Exciting times! :) I think I'm right in saying that we're no longer allowed to use peat moss in the UK as it is not sustainable. Great you have your own dung! :)

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  7. Oh, love the first picture!!! Peat moss is controversial in these parts, too, mainly with organic programs. Can't wait to see what all you grow.

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  8. I've read about square foot gardening but have never tried it. I'll be interested to follow your experiment with it.

    Our daffodils are all blooming too - so pretty!

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  9. WOW I want to try this now too :))

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  10. I'm surely looking forward to pictures of how your project develops. It's inspiring! And I like Ellen's Kipling quote. I need to tell it to myself frequently.

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  11. It is work but so worth it. Ohhh onions in a pot. I may try it!! Clarice

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