Sunday, February 1, 2009

My First Vegetable Garden

The only exposure I’ve had to growing anything that you can eat was back in the 70’s when my dad grew tomatoes in our front yard and the cucumbers and a few tomatoes I grew in pots on my roof last year (2008). Yes I said on my roof. I have a large flat roof. I was able to get some produce and I enjoyed being able to pick cucumbers and cherry tomatoes for our salad.

Here's a photo of my Dad’s tomatoes.
That’s me in the cool yellow and red bell bottoms.

The plan this year is to reconfigure the back yard into a vegetable garden. I have the plan all layed out, the only thing is can I execute the plan in time for planting? Those that know me well would say yes… they know once I have a project in mind nothing will stop me until the project is done. I’m a little nuts that way.

So what have I done to get myself ready for this new adventure? I’ve been reading two books, The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible and Grow Vegetables. I also picked up a Framers Almanac. I’ll talk about that more later. I’ve been hanging out on GardenWeb in the Square Foot Garden (SFG) forum. I know your asking what is a SFG?… it’s a way to utilize/maximize your garden space to grow more in a small amount of space with less effort and since I have a small space this seems like the way to go. Here’s a link if you want to read more about it.Square Foot Gardening

I have put together a planting list and used the planting table in the Framers Almanac. I found this to be very helpful. I was feeling very overwhelmed in trying to figure out when I was suppose start seeds and when they should be planted out. Now I have everything on the calendar and feel very organized.

I have two beds ready to be planted...
A 3x5 next to the kitchen

and a 3x9 right off the patio by the Angels Trumpet

I started a compost bin in Nov (2008). I should have some nice rich compost ready to use in my Spring/Summer garden.

I have the cold frame greenhouse set up with lights and heat mats for my seed starting.

The Plan…..

Here is a view of the original plan before I decided on the reconfiguration
Click on photo for a larger view

This is the new plan
Click on photo for a larger view

To give you an idea how much I can get into these beds here is my planting list, as of now.

Bed #1 3ft x 5ft ( or 15 12”x12” squares)
2 Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes (grown on a trellis)
2 Container Bush Tomatoes
60 Carrots
Basil (Pasto)

Bed #2 3ft x 9ft ( or 27 12”x12” squares)
48 Sweet Corn ( maybe less still working out the spacing)
4 cucumbers (grown on a trellis)
2 Water Melons

Bed #3 4ft x 8ft ( or 32 12”x12” squares)
1 "Lil' Loupe Melon Cantaloupe (grown on a trellis)
1 Small Sugar Pumpkin (grown on a trellis)
1 Mini Winter Spaghetti Squash mini (grown on a trellis)
6 Bell Peppers
6 Mini Bell Peppers
24 Basil

Bed #4 4ft x 8ft ( or 32 12”x12” squares)
1 Summer Squash
16 Bush Beans (2 per square staggered)
2 Celery (2 per square staggered)
20 Mini Butterhead Lettuce (4 per square)
16 Small Leaf Spinach (4 per square)
32 Mache (16 per square)
32 Red Onions (16 per square)
32 Yellow Onions (16 per square)
32 White Onions (16 per square)
64 Garlic (maybe)

I will also be growing Snap Pea’s on a trellis between bed 2 and 3

Early Potatoes (in home made bins behind bed 2 next to the Angels Trumpet)

Herbs, Strawberries, Banana’s, Nectarines, and Raspberries all in containers on the patio.

I have a lot of work ahead of me and I hope to get it done soon.
I'll keep you posted on how things are going.


  1. Sounds like a good plan! This year is gonna be so much fun for you, and you'll probably stay in the garden way too much, I suspect. I can't wait to see the progress of everything.


  2. WOW!! You've done some serious work on your garden. I had to go back and find the motorcycle to make sure I was at the right place.

    Your plan looks great. I bought one of the landscaping programs and I'm still trying to figure out how to work it. Which program did you do yours in?

  3. I just realized I was reading two posts as one. That was your sister's garden. I'm sure she loves you. Still WOW!!

    P.S. If you haven't read the book The New Square Foot Garden, you should. It's by Mel Barthalomew, and he's said to be the "inventor" of the square foot method. It's a really good book with lots of techniques for square foot gardening.

  4. Hi EG,

    Thanks! I hope it works out as well as it looks. You're right I will want to spend every moment I can in the garden. The plan is to get the beds up in the next two weekends. I'll blog the make over as I go along.

  5. Hi Cheryl,

    Yes my sister loves me, and the make over :-)
    She wants me to plant some tomatoes in her garden this year. I'm thinking by the potting bench since this is where she gets the most sun.

    The program I used was the one jleiwig posted on the SF forum. I signed up for the 30 day free trial.

    I just ordered the, The New Square Foot Garden book on Friday. I can't wait to get it.


  6. Great job, Liisa, you are going to have a gorgeous garden this year!

  7. Hi Granny,

    Thanks! I really hope so. You know from following my blog... The yard has to look nice from the living room :-)

  8. I loved looking at your plans and can hardly wait to see how it all comes out this summer!

  9. Hi Jen,

    Thanks for stopping by. I hope I can pull this off. I don't know what the heck I'm doing.. but I sure am having fun doing it. We are going to put in beds two and three tomorrow. The rain should stop later tonight and make way for some sun this weekend.

    I was just checking out your blog. I've got to spend more time on it... looks like you've got some great stuff on there. Looking forward to follwing your garden this year.