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Posts Tagged ‘square foot gardening’

It’s been a while since my last post so I thought it was high time to provide an update on my garden. šŸ™‚ BTW, I’m in zone 6b, southwest Ontario.

As the weather warmed up, I started planting and moving my seedlings outside. Everything survived except 2 tomato plants, which I replaced with 2 nursery-bought tomato plants. I love looking back to see how much things have grown over the past few months. Super satisfying. So far, we’ve eaten tons of lettuce, green peas, yellow beans, basil, mint, garlic scapes and blueberries. Soon we’ll have tomatoes. I’m in the middle of dehydrating chamomile and mint to make tea – first time so we’ll see how that goes.

Here are some pics in chronological order from mid-May up until to last weekend:

Seedlings – tomatoes, basil and parsley:

I tried something different with the two tomato plants in the front – I planted them in a trench/sideways (back to front in the pic) just to see if they would grow any different from the others (dug a hole, planted straight:

More tomatoes and some carrots

First time growing green peas (patio pride/bush) as well as zucchini:

I bought blueberry bushes from the nursery but was worried about birds. I found this amazing contraption on Amazon – it’s been amazing. I haven’t lost one blueberry to birds yet!

Mint (aka mojitos in training):

First time planting garlic (last October) and the leaves have grown huge so far – these are the scapes that I harvested (and sautĆ©ed with pasta and mushrooms) – yummy:

Peas are truly a beautiful plant:

Peas, yellow beans and zucchini up near the fence:

Buttercrunch lettuce and cucumber plant at the top near the fence:

Mint teenagers:

First harvest of lettuce and peas:

Chamomile is flowering!

Everyone looks so happy šŸ™‚

Beans are flowering!

Couldn’t believe my eyes – my very own blueberries šŸ™‚

Mint young adults:

Zucchini flowers!

Tomatoes taking off

Yellow bean harvest with some thai basil

We have zucchini babies šŸ™‚

And cucumber babies:

Chamomile and marigolds (and a garlic photobomber):

This was a few days ago – lots of green tomatoes, should ripen soon šŸ™‚

Thai basil:

Can’t wait for the first taste of home-grown tomatoes šŸ™‚

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Early in the year, I start planning my garden and make preparations for planting season. I can’t wait to get outside. The plan this spring was to start some seeds indoors andĀ sow the rest directly outside. In past years, I just waited to transplant everythingĀ outside until risk of frost had passed for my area (SW Ontario) but this time I did a bit more research, planned out a chart for each item and followed that instead. I was able to sow seeds as early as April for the cold-hardy ones (radishes, spinach, lettuce, carrots). We’ll see how things go!

This is what I’ll be growing this year:

  • 6 types of cherry tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Onions
  • Spinach
  • 2 types of leaf lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Beans (will direct sow asĀ I harvest the radishes)
  • Marigolds (pest control)

This is my chart:

Local Frost Date (“FD”): May 1-10, 2017

Plant Sow date Growth Safe set out date Planting date Notes
Ā Lettuce Apr 15 Once ground is workable Apr 15 Direct Apr 9
Ā Onion sets Apr 22-29 2-3 wks beforeĀ FD Apr 22-29 Direct Apr 22
Ā Radish Apr 15-22 3-4 wks before FD Apr 15-22 Direct Apr 14
Ā Tomato Mar 25-Apr 8 6-8 wks 1 week after FD May 13 Trans. May 13
Ā Basil Apr 8-22 5-7 wks 2 weeks after FD May 20 Trans. May 20
Ā Parsley Feb 18-Mar 4 8-10 wks 2 weeks before FD Apr 29 Trans. May 13
Ā Carrots Apr 8-22 3-5 weeks before FD Apr 8-22 Direct Apr 9
Ā Spinach Apr 8 5 weeks before FD Apr 8 Direct Apr 9

As of a week ago, everything is now outside in my 2 square foot garden beds (4×4, 2×8). The radishes, onions and lettuceĀ are coming along nicely. I can see the tips of the carrots and spinach. I transplanted the tomatoes and parsley and they’re recovering a bit from transplant shock but they’re resilient buggers – they should bounce back. I bought basil from the garden centre (my seeds from last year didn’t take) – and I planted those on Saturday.

I keep a gardening journal to record when I do everything and track progress of how the seeds/plants are doing. It helps to look back on past season to see what worked / what didn’t. Last year, I had tomatoes, basil and parsley in one bed andĀ the herbs were HUGE. I’d never seen basil bushes beforeĀ but there they were in my backyard! I made pesto inĀ September and it lasted us through the winter – I haveĀ 2 little containers left in the freezer. šŸ™‚

So excited that garden season has officially begun!!!

 

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I’ve decided to give square foot gardening a try this year. I have my raised bed frame and garden plan – a 4′ x 4′ grid with 16 squares. I started someĀ seeds indoors a couple of weeks ago and am convinced I have magic beans…

I picked up a mini greenhouse for $30 at Lowes to store my seedlings indoors in a warm spot (my office) which will also work well when I harden them off later this spring out on the deck.

I decided to start some from seed and buy the restĀ as plants from the nursery. The seeds I started include basil, beets, green beans, spinach and marigolds. The plants I’ll be buying include cherry tomato, regular tomato, peppersĀ andĀ onion sets.

I started my seeds in early March which may be a bit early for the beans. This is them a week later. The beans sprouted really quickly. I’m a bit worried that they’ll grow too quickly before my outdoor garden is ready but I figure worst case scenario, I’ll transplant as needed in to bigger containers and I can always plan new seeds directly into the soil. I’ll play it by ear but they should be fine.

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Below is the mini greenhouse and the potting soil I’m using:

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And I transplanted some of the beans (top) and the beets (bottom):

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These were taken today. I transplanted more of the beans and thinned out some of the beets.

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Beets:

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These were the first beans transplanted. Magic beans. šŸ™‚

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Stay tuned for progress!

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