Square Foot Garden #2

by Rainbow Bobbins

Square Foot Garden 3.29.07

I do not know what I am doing with this garden.  When do you plant what? Do you just sprinkle fertilizer on top or do you mix it in with soil?  Is it too early in the PacNW season to put my oregano transplant in the ground? And what the heck is my gardening zone anyways?  I do not know and I am starting not to care. I have read a couple of books and blogs on gardening but the more I learn the more confused I become.  I am taking the “just put it in the ground and grow it” approach to gardening.  So far things aren’t growing so bad.  On March 11th I planted peas, carrots, beets, nasturtiums, radishes, 2 types of lettuce, spinach, chard (all from seed) outdoors in my square foot garden.  As of today, March 29th, every item has sprouted. The radishes and spinach seem to be thriving – they grow in size each day.  The pea sprout seems to be struggling, however.  After reading a small section of “Gardening West of the Cascades by XXX” I learned that it’s best to purchase seeds that have been tested in your gardening zone (light bulb flashes).  The pea seeds I planted were a gift from a friend who picked them up at a Mennonite farm in Pennsylvania – maybe that has something to do with their slow growth or maybe it’s the fact that they wound up in the shadiest square.  One of the lettuces, Tom Thumb from territorial seed company has not sprouted out doors yet but did sprout indoors in the jiffy pots.

Another probably-not-advised approach I have taken with my garden is to put all of my indoor starts outdoors.  I felt that they were not getting enough light and were becoming “leggy”.  So I took my leggy basil, lettuces, tomato, and zucchini sprouts to live outdoors, none-of that time consuming hardening off.  All of my indoor sprouts were started in jiffy pots that have a plastic lid.  I set the whole jiffy pot container on top of one square in the garden. When I took the top off the sprouts to check them I was surprised by how warm the container was – maybe they won’t do so badly after all. 

The zucchini sprout which I started indoors is quite vigorous – nearly ready to raise the roof off of the jiffy pot box.  D says I should plant it pronto – even if it is leggy.  Does anyone know if it is okay to put zucchini in the ground before last frost?

On March 22 I added 3 new additions to my garden: Oregano & Parsley transplants in the herb and flower square (the front square in the photos) and onion starts in the back right square.  As the weather warms I will add cucumber seeds, tomato transplants (if mine live) or seeds, eggplant, strawberries and I will fill out my herb garden with rosemary, lavender, dill, basil, chive and thyme transplants.

Although I always feel unsure of what should go where when – I love checking on the garden 2x per day to see what has cropped up.  I have been having a blast with the garden and find myself staring down the sprouts willing them to grow.  It’s a little overboard but, hey, I don’t own a television.

I will have photos of the latest sprouts in the next couple days

chard sproutsSprouts in Jiffy PotsRadish SproutsRed Sails Lettuce from Territorial Seed Co.