Gardening Update

There’s been a lot of chaos in my life lately; finances are tight, vehicles are broken/breaking, and business is slow. As such, some things have fallen by the wayside. One of which is documenting our square foot garden. I sorely wish I had kept better track of what we have done and when, as it would serve as a vital guide for next years plans. We finally got our trellis netting up on Sunday.

I know we did a lot of things wrong. We clearly started our tomato and pepper plants too early.

The tomato got nice and big, but is still fruiting too soon.

The pepper plants are pretty sad. The peppers look nice, there’s just so very few of them.

The one bursting with pale yellow peppers is a mere 14 inches tall. I’m not sure that the peppers are even the correct color. We tasted one that fell off a few days ago, though, and it was pretty darn good for an unripe pepper.

A lot of our various lettuce transplants died when we had a scorching day and no one was home to water them. We reseeded some squares (which? I don’t know. I really should

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Finances

Tax season is tough for most small business owners, right? I know it is for me. Paying the government, along with an accountant, is a lot for a business that consists of 2 people (myself and my husband). As such, our finances are a bit tight. We’ve had to put some things on hold. I haven’t been baking as much, we haven’t been able to finish the details on our garden construction, and we haven’t been able to buy more soil.

It’s planting season, and we have terrible soil. So a few days ago we just went ahead and transplanted our peppers and tomatoes anyway, right into it. What else can we do? We can’t just wait until it’s economical to spend another $100 on soil. We’ll attempt to grow in it this year, and see what we get. By next spring, we’ll have plenty of compost to mix in, and that will help.

Since we’ve never gardened before, it’s been overwhelming us. Of course, if we had started small it would have been easier. My husband is not the start small type. He likes to go full on into everything he does. This causes frustration sometimes, but more often

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Swindled

As I have mentioned before, when we bought our soil we got swindled. It is mostly clay, full of small rocks, and it turns into a brick when it gets wet.

The only way we can amend this is to get rid of some of it, and replace it with better soil.

Unfortunately, finances are currently impeding the process. Until we get new soil, we can’t plant our seeds or transfer our seedlings into the beds. We can’t plant our hops rhizomes, so we haven’t even picked them up yet. Since we’ve already spent $200 on soil it really hurts to have to spend even more.

Luckily, the deep parts of our beds won’t need to be altered. And really, plenty of people garden in 6 inch raised beds. That means we don’t have to do a whole lot to get them into shape. We’ll scrape off the top 3 inches or so, till up another 3 or 4 inches, then hopefully it won’t be difficult to mix the bad with the good.

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Square Foot Gardening

It’s so simple! Simply look at the back of the seed pack. Ignore whatever it says about row spacing, and instead simply focus on the plant spacing. If it says “Plant 3 inches apart” then you simply have to plant your seeds/seedlings in a grid, where they are all 3 inches apart. If you followed their rows, you’d get 4 plants in a square foot (4 plants, 3 inches apart, in rows that are never less than a foot apart). If you do it this way, you’ll get 16 per square foot. Really!

If you’d like to learn more about square foot gardening, you should check out Mel Bartholomew’s books or Emily’s blog. She has all sort of useful things, including spacing for common plants and a really handy companion planting guide.

The image at the top of this post was taken from a google image result. That’s because I don’t have any pictures of my finished garden yet! If it’s your photo, and you’d like me to link it or remove it just let me know!

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Seeds!

Our seeds have arrived. We’re still thinking on our soil situation, so we’re on hold for now. We’re lucky enough to live less than 10 miles from the headquarters of Burpee, which I feel makes a big difference in the quality of plant we’ll get. Plants are quick adapters. The seeds that we save from this years harvest will produce plants next year that are even more readily equipped to deal with our specific weather and soil. That trait makes it ideal to save your seeds. However, when the seeds come from plants that were grown just a few miles away, I feel that they’re already going to be pretty damn hardy.

What will we be growing? A lot! Here’s the list:

Tomatoes, 2 types
Sweet bell peppers
Hot peppers
Cilantro/coriander (did you know that cilantro grows from coriander seeds?)
Red salad onions
Arugula
Chives
Broccoli
Spinach
Celery
Scallions
Cucumbers
Thyme
Carrots
Radicchio
Cauliflower
Little Gem lettuce
Basil
Pole beans
Peas
Endive, curly
Flat parsley

Will all of that fit into 48 square feet? Yes!
Isn’t this a bit lofty for first-time gardeners? Probably!
Does that matter? Not one bit!

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Gardening, Part 1



Last week was beautiful weather, and a slow week for business. This meant that my husband was home, and he did a lot of work starting our raised bed gardens. Our back yard is a slope, and was poorly “hardscaped” with small rocks on the hill. It’s near impossible to get rocks to stay on a hill, thanks to this pesky thing we call gravity. Ever read The Myth of Sisyphus?



I have the Yard of Sisyphus.



There is a “grassy” part at the top of the hill that is actually just very weedy. I’m attempting to get some grass to grow there, in the hopes of killing off the weeds sometime this summer. It’s mainly a dog pooping zone, and I feel that the dogs would be better served by grass. We’re also composting for the first time. That’s our blue compost bin in the background. I’m suffering from a lack of brown matter at the moment, and I’m not sure how to solve that problem. We also need to get some worms. Our compost won’t be ready to use this year, but hopefully our garden will be prolific and we’ll have another one next year that will

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