Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Last night, the man and I went ahead and built the new boxes for my Spring expansion. This morning I skinned them and put them outside. It was a lot of fun and I feel accomplished. Now I want to plant things!!! I've heard you can plant peas here in January, but we've still got many freezes left at that time and I'm not too sure on that.

Anyway, tell me, candidly of course, what you think. No, I know it won't get the optimal sun with the huge oak looming over the area, but it's what I've got. That, and I know some of the boxes will shade out others so I'm putting larger, taller plants in back. Better a garden than no garden at all, right?

Then, I've two more boxes to stack on top of the other two boxes already in use to make them taller for carrots/potatoes etc. Those will go on as soon as I get the heart to rip out the sad looking cabbage and brussles. The dill came out last week as it turned brown with the frost (sorry, Granny...it never bloomed). I don't think the cabbage/brussles will ever be at an edible stage, but it makes me feel like I'm doing something instead of wishing the days away.
SO! Long story short. The towered boxes will be about 16" in heighth and the new ones are 12". Yes, I know it's a lot deeper than necessary, but it makes me feel better. I went ahead and lay them now being that as you can see I only had weed block and not landscaper's fabric so it won't drain as it is. I need to kill off what's below and then make some larger holes in the weed block come February before I fill them. We're also expecting hard rains on Wednesday so I can see how they drain...or not.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Remember that tomato plant?

So, remember in those first pictures of the SFG I posted there was a tomato plant in the back of the first box. I went down there a few days after planting it and the whole stem was shorn off and there was slime everywhere.

Darn slug.

I tore it out and planted something else in its place.

I also had a husky red bush in the front walk. It was getting a bit brown, so I moved it to the back deck where it promplty thoroughly died. I cut it off at the base with the thought of dumping the soil later. Later never came and the plant sprouted anew. Amazing!

Three weeks ago, some rotten animal...slime included, cut off the tops of both stems fresh with flowers. I was incensed. I was outraged. What could it have been? Yes, there was slime, but this is a raised deck? Squirrel? Bird? Yes, maybe, but why didn't they bother the plant while it was out front?

I had given up. Forgotten about the whole thing, when this morning while I was drinking my coffee, watching sportscenter and praying Tebow would catch the flu today, I saw a shaddow moving over the tomato plant. I saw those giant masticating jaws lower themselves down on what was left of the fledgling tomato plant and chew...chew..chew, leaving a trail of slime as it went.

Blasted DOG!!!

It was my dog all along. That rotten slime drooling great dane, picking on something less than the size of his idiot head. Rotten dog. No wonder the plant survived in the front yard just fine.
The point of all this....I have four tomatoes planned to go in the back yard next year. I suppose I'll have to enclose the entire box in chicken wire, huh?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How do you plan your garden?

Computer, notebook paper, graph paper?

Grasping at straws here and looking for a better way to plan. I've got it mapped out on paper, but as you know, not everything is planted at the same time and some things you plant twice or more and some will stay on for what it seems is forever and still others you plant after some other things are done....I don't know if I need to color code with dates, draw a new map for every 3-4 weeks and color code new plantings/vs old or what!?

I suppose I'm driving myself crazy over nothing, but I really want to get a better way of organizing. The man had some of my garden drawing papers in his hand and asked if I needed them. At first, I was indignant. "Of course I needed them!" I fussed, "I made specific references on them which I had changed and put new notations which weren't working so I changed them again which worked perfectly until last week when I gave up on that paper to start a new one, so I guess no. I don't need it. Throw it out."

My memory is not the best. I can't rely on keeping up with planting dates and what will be planted where when what's done just by memory. I settled on this journal. I love the hard cover and spiral binding. The pages prompt you on what to write, but the other side is blank. I can then add my pictures into it like a scrap book AND keep all of my bits of paper tucked up inside. I ever made space in the back for planting notes on different vegetables and my harvest yield.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Musings Thus Far

1. Sun - the only space I have for gardening gets about 5-6 hours of sun a day because it's in our back yard behind a fence and borderd in the back with a thick woodline, which is one of the reasons, besides depth, that I think my SFG isn't doing as well as my containers, but is that good enough for beans, peas and cucumbers in the intense GA summer heat?

2. Peas - Anyone know of a pea variety that grows in bushes instead of vines? Looking to maximize trellis space.

3. Trellis - Whatever I use can't be obtrusive and it's got to be something I can get at my local po-dunk Ace Hardware. It's got to be attached to the back of the box as the ground is like concrete, yet shiftable once something is in there, so it won't support a trellis in summer afternoon wind/thunder storms.

5. Since the man (husband) has agreed to let me build whatever amount of boxes I want since it goes along with the no-red clay philosophy, what obsure veggie couldn't you live without.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Containers vs. SFG

I know it's only been one week, but the same vegetables I put in at the same time in my containers are outgrowing the sqft garden 4-1. The container plants are MASSIVE and the ones in the garden are as scrawny as they were when I transplanted them. The only thing seeming to do well is the romaine lettuce and radishes. The soil mixture is the same in both. Not a great mix, but the best I could do at the time, and still the containers are groing like crazy in comparison so I don't think this is the problem. Sun exposure is about the same if not 2-3 hours LESS for the container plants. I tried fertilizing today to see if this will make a difference.
I was thinking that maybe the depth of the roots would make some sort of a difference....I had to put a weed fabric down as I put the beds right on top of grass. Could that be the problem?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Several months ago, I was posting on the GA gardener forum of GardenWeb about my potted vegetables causing me grief. An incredibly helpful member suggested I try square foot gardening instead. I've spent the last few months reading up, planning and listening. I gathered all of the ammunition I could and finally convinced the man (since it would cover some of his coveted grass in the dog-lot...I mean back yard)that this was what I wanted to do. I was a bit worried at first since the back yard is mostly a dog-lot and I don't think this is what is meant by "water frequently" but thank goodness they've left well enough alone.
We've made the boxes small so the boy can get in there and participate since he was the one who started all of this "I want to be a garden man" stuff this summer.

We're growing romaine lettuce, brussel sprouts, broccoli, red cabbage, dill and leeks, with a few raddishes sprinkled in throughout.

I KNOW the tomato bush in the back doesn't have enough spacing, but when a four year old's life apparently hinges on having a tomato plant RIGHT THERE and in no other place, I let him put it there since it's so late in the year anyway, it's doubtful it will produce anything. Regardless, some slug came by and chewed the top flowers off anyway, so it's basically a gonner.