Sunday, July 30, 2006

Gardening for squares

Dan just made two raised beds last week, ala Sqaure Foot Gardening. One is 3 by 7 feet, the other is 2 by 4 feet. He's also going to make each of the boys a wee 2x2 foot garden so they can plant things (Ryan wants strawberries and lots of flowers, Arden wants flowers and some "cool" purple sage in his).

I stuck with things that would do well in the Fall or overwinter well, along with lettuce that will get replanted many times. The containers are tucked next to our patio, up against the house, and are shielded from wind from the side of the house but still get good amounts of sun. I'll probably add cold frames once things get colder, but I think being so close to the house will help everything stay warmer as well.

I was amazed at how much stuff I was able to plant! All of this went in:

  • strawberries - two kinds of alpine strawberries and one regular sized everbearing kind
  • red leaf lettuce
  • baby bok choi
  • broccoli (3)
  • purple sage
  • cauliflower (3)
  • spinach
  • cilantro (we'll see if I can get at these before they bolt)
  • oregano
  • garlic (red hardneck)
  • some hummingbird flower mix
  • mesclun mix
  • radishes
  • flatleaf parsley
  • two of kinds thyme - silver and lemon thyme (mmmm!)
  • leeks
  • brussels srouts
  • carrots (Atomic Red and Nantes)
  • Daikon radishes
I've been watering a little each day, since it's been very hot here lately and I wanted the seeds to get a good start. Almost everything has sprouted, aside from the parsley (notorious poor germinators, I hear), carrots, flowers, oregano, and garlic. Every time I look out and see all the wee bits of green peeking out over the top of the soil I get this lovely warm feeling, like I've done something good. Can't wait until everything starts getting bigger and the sprouts start looking more like actual plants. Bit like watching babies grow, though much more quickly and without the sleep deprivation.

I also filled up my new Earth Machine composter today. Got it for free on Craigslist a couple of weeks back. Craigslist rocks. I've bought, sold, given away, and gotten for free more things than I can count. We found our kitten online, too. Great, great resource. Anyway, I filled up my composter, carefully layering green plants, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds as an activator, and brown leaves. Wet everything a bit, then stirred it round. I'll be giving it a stir once a week and making sure everything stays moist for the next few months, then if all goes well shoveling out rich, deep brown soil.

The foot is doing a lot better, though it's awfully weak. I'm wearing the boot half a day now and icing it twice a day to help keep the swelling down. Seems to be healing well, though I can't wait until I can ditch the fancy footwear.