Garden Plans Growing

Square Foot Garden Planting Plans

Recently, I’ve had a few requests about exactly what to plant in these square foot gardens that I’ve written about. Can you plant potatoes? How about carrots & peas? Or even tomatoes? Well, yes, yes, and yes. But…

In order to grow certain fruits and veggies in your square foot garden, you might have to plan ahead. For example, if you want to plant carrots, you need to make your containers a little bit deeper – maybe 8 to 12 inches deep. For vines like cucumbers and tomatoes, you’ll need some kind of support system like a trellis or stakes so that they can grow UP not OUT. Then there are other things that you CAN grow in SFGs, but they really work better in a traditional garden plot. Things like peas or potatoes take up a lot of space, and are best planted in long rows (peas) or large blocks (potatoes).

So with those thoughts in mind as you get ready to plant your SFGs this spring, here is my square foot garden planting plan from a couple of years ago – just to give you some ideas!

What will you be planting this year?

Garden Plans

A New Home – A New Garden

Last summer I bought a new house – as I’ve eluded to in some of my recent comments (and as evidenced my my lack of new posts since last August). The house had just been moved in and placed on a new basement, so there had been no landscaping done after the excavation and most of the back yard was still in it’s undisturbed state (as it had been for the past… 50 – 100 years?) There were a few rotting trees that were eager to fall on the power lines, so we decided it best to remove them even though it left us with a pretty bare yard.

We wanted to live in the house for a while before we made landscaping plans so we would know what exactly we wanted, so we didn’t do much in the way of landscaping last fall, except for removing the previously mentioned trees. Of course, with no garden I really didn’t have much to write about, so that’s why I’ve been a little absent (though I’ve enjoyed replying to your comments on my other articles).

But here’s the good news… I’m back! Over the winter I drew up a concept plan for our yard (seen a little further on in this article) and we are now working to making it all happen. Hopefully, as I keep you updated on my progress, you’ll see some dramatic changes. So to fully appreciate the before and after, here are a couple of before pictures:

This is in April, scraping back the black dirt… (Looking out from my back steps)

Scraping back the black dirtThen this is earlier today… (looking towards the house from the back alley)

Before LandscapingSo it’s a pretty empty slate, but with lots of possibilities. Here’s what I plan to do with it:

Concept Plan

I’m going to be a bit late planting in the garden this year, but that & the greenhouse are my #1 priority. (Hey, you might get another tutorial on how to build a greenhouse.) But that’s for another day!

Garden Plans Hints, Tips, and How Tos

Transplanting Tomatoes

Today was the day to transplant my tomato seedlings, and I think I may have done it a little differently than you might expect. Or perhaps you’ve done it this way all your life and I’m just catching on to it now. Either way, here’s what I did.

Now if you’re wondering when to transplant, my seedlings are now four weeks old and stand about about four inches tall. Ideally, I think you’d want to give them another week or so, and do the big move when they’re about five inches tall. But, I was in a hurry and was itching to get things moving.

Tomato & Watermelon Seedlings ready to transplant

First of all, I gave my tomato seedlings one more watering before I transplanted them. Not only does that make it easier on the plant, but it also makes it easier to get out of the container. Then I took my three inch pot (that I was transplanting into) and put just a small layer of dirt in the bottom. So far, not so unusual.

Here’s what you might not normally do. I took my tomato plant and laid it down sideways in the container (as much as I could in that small space). Then I buried as much of it as I could, leaving just the top leaves showing.

My transplanted tomato

Now, why on earth would I do that? Well you see, when you bury a tomato stem, it will send out roots. These extra roots will make the plant stronger and healthier. To further improve your tomato’s root systems, do this again when you plant him in the ground. Just dig a little trench, lay the plant down in the trench, bury it and keep the top sticking out of the ground.

Don’t believe me? Try it yourself!

Garden Plans

Garden Plan & Seeds for 2008

With spring not all that far away, folks are browsing the seed catalogs and are starting to put together their seed orders for this spring. And of course, once compiled, these lists make their way onto the internet for our viewing pleasure. So where’s my list?

Well, instead of a plain ol’ list, I thought I’d show you the full meal deal. You see, I have tendency to be way too organized and since I’m quite adapt with a computer, I just so happen to have a full color diagram of everything I plan to plant and where I’m going to plant it. Care to take a gander? Then here goes…

Oh, by the way, click the image to download a full size .pdf file to study at your leisure.

A-Frame Greenhouse Plan

A-Frame Greenhouse Plan 2008 (pdf)The main crops in here are tomatoes, watermelons, and cucumbers, but you’ll also a variety of other things as well. Something new for my greenhouse this year is pumpkins. I’m going to try to grow a giant pumpkin or two inside my greenhouse. I’m also going to try raspberries in my greenhouse to see if I can extend their season. The blank plot in the upper left corner is where I’m going to plan a mini-replica of my main outdoor garden just to compare how the plants grow differently in the greenhouse.

Just a note about the “Phil’s Strawberries”: Those are a type of strawberry that I’m getting from my brother Phil who is a u-pick fruit grower. I’m not sure exactly what type they are.