The Start of a Wonderful Past time

We have always been a gardening type of family, however we have never been very successful except when we did indoor tomatoes down in Utah with a few windowsill pots. Back then we didn’t know about trimming the plants to have them produce more and stay in a specific shape so we ended up with tons of tomato vines and an ok crop of tomatoes. 

But after we attended a Brigham Young University Education Week class (August 2008) about the square foot gardening method of gardening we decided that we would attempt to create a small square foot garden this summer. Though up here in the great northwest we have a very cold climate and no one really knows when the last frost date is going to be and even the experts have a large range from Feb to May as The Cheap Vegetable Gardener points out in his post “Last frost dates are not the same.” So I have started all my seeds so far indoors including some that should really be planted outdoors, just to get a head start on the season. This is my first time starting with such an assortment (ie more then just tomatoes and basil) of crops so we will see how they turn out.

Following the method laid out in the Square Foot Gardening booklet I started with a “perfect” mixture of soil. 1/3 Perlite, 1/3 Compost and 1/3 Peat Moss. Side Note: Bartholomew said to use Vermiculite, however it was recently banned from all stores here in Washington due to asbestos contamination again. Mixing the soil was actually pretty easy when I decided to do it in large batches using a clear, see through 10 gal storage container that you just had to shake to mix the contents evenly (the previous method used a gallon size ziploc bag to mix up enough for about 4 pots and was very difficult to mix). Once the soil was mixed all we had to do was fill enough pots for the amount of seed we are planting this week and water the soil until it was soaking.

One thing to remember is to plant sparingly yet timed so that you can harvest your plants over a time span instead of all at once where you need to spend even more time storing the produce before it all rots. Who really is going to eat 20 heads of lettuce in a single week anyway? So really today’s planting was the second planting and last weeks seedlings already are growing rapidly.

Finally I created a simple worksheet to help me keep track of what I am planting, when and where so that I will have a record next year of how this year’s crops turned out. I am sure I will continue updating this as I find more uses for graphs and such. Gardening Information (Excel 2007 xlsx format)





The list of plants that I am growing this year (it is in the worksheet also):

  • Anaheim Peppers
  • Artichoke
  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Butternut Squash
  • California Bell Peppers
  • Cayenne Peppers
  • Celery
  • Corn (Sweet)
  • Dill
  • Evergreen White Bunching Onions
  • Habañero Peppers
  • Jalapeño Peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Peas (Bush)
  • Pumpkin
  • Royal Burgundy Bush Bean
  • Serrano Peppers
  • Snap Pea (Pole)
  • Spinach
  • Table King (Bush Acorn) Squash
  • Tomatoes (Red Cherry)
  • Tomatoes (Roma)
  • Watermelon


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jackie on April 10, 2009 at 9:22 am

    That\’s really cool David. We are going to have some veggies soon! 🙂 I\’m going to replace the herbs in my aero garden with tomatoes and things! 🙂 And then after our yard is done, I hope to have my veggie garden! YAY!

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