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.
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
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
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.