This week’s project has been to set up a Square Foot Garden; a 4’x4′ raised bed to plant vegetables.
I know what some of you are thinking… is it really worth the time and effort to grow your own vegetables in the home garden?
First off, from my experience with growing red onions, it’s a fact that:
1. Growing your own at home will produce tastier fruits and vegetables.
2. You’ll be able to harvest your fruits and vegetables right away, compared to commercial produce that has to travel many miles to get to the supermarket, and picked early to ripen by the time they get to the store.
3. You’ll be in complete control of what produce you eat, and can go totally organic so you know your fruits and vegetables are healthy and free of pesticides.
All that said, this is my first time doing Square Foot Gardening, so it’ll definitely be a learning process for me, with some trial and error and trying to get all the information I can from books and online sources.
The main thing is that a Square Foot Garden should be more manageable given the proper combination of growth medium and compact dimensions, so it should be pretty easy.
My Progress So Far…
I bought a 4’x4′ raised bed kit from Home Depot. It cost me $39.95 and was very easy to assemble. I just had to slide the pre-cut wood boards onto the four posts. And the only thing that needed tools was to screw in the tops of the posts with a drill.
I had bought some special sheeting a while back that you lay down on the ground to prevent weeds. So I laid this down in the area first and secured it. And when I put the raised bed in place, I laid down bark (wood chips) over the sheeting around the raised bed.
For my growth medium I didn’t use the recommended mix which is called “Mel’s Mix”. To save a little bit of money I used the leftover organic soil and bought another 3 cubic feet of organic soil.
Here’s my approximate mix:
4 cubic feet of Organic Soil
3 cubic feet of medium coarse Vermiculite
2 cubic feet of home grown compost (sifted to make it finer)
I’m hoping this mix will yield similar results that Mel’s Mix has been known for, but only time will tell. It was a lot of work sifting out my own compost, but it made for a finer material that blended well with the other ingredients!
So, my first plants are listed below. You can already see the two Big Beef tomato plants since I purchased those as small plants and they are already growing fast.
Big Beef Tomatoes – 2 squares
Red Onions – 2 squares
Garlic – 2 squares
Leafy Lettuce – 2 squares
Cilantro – 1 square