Saturday, March 9, 2013

Square Feet

It’s that time already – spring is almost here so I’ve spent the past couple of weekends pulling out all the yuck that accumulated in my raised beds (yes, that explains all the scars on my hands) and started making a plan. 

Someone turned me on to Kitchen Gardeners International,, on whose website you can make a digital map of your garden and “plant” whichever veggies you choose.  You enter your zip code and the website gives geography-based recommendations for sowing, planting and harvesting various yummies.

This year I’m practicing “square-foot gardening,” a concept of which I only recently became aware.  The idea is to divide your garden beds into sections of one square foot each and cram as many plants as is reasonable into each section.  I was surprised to find out that you can plant 16 carrot seeds, or 4 collard green seedlings, or 8 sugar snap peas, or one tomato plant, in one square foot.  The idea is to make the most efficient use of your space while leaving no room for weeds and to rotate your crops and practice compatible planting techniques in order to confuse pests enough that they move to your next door neighbor’s backyard.  In my tiny backyard (25’ x 13’ total), these techniques give me hope.

Here’s my map.  So far, I’ve only planted peas and collards. The plants that are outside of the beds are there because I haven’t decided exactly where they’re going to go yet. 

Here’s the schedule:

Blue shows the time for sowing seeds.
Green is for planting seedlings outside.
Orange is harvest time.

 And, here's what it looks like, so far, in real life:

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