Thursday, May 28, 2009

More Than One Way to Grow a Garden

We've got four different kinds of gardens growing this year: container, traditional, raised bed, and a Square Foot Garden.

Raised Bed Gardens

We've had the raised bed gardens for at least 10 years. These have a shorter amount of sun-time because of a large neighboring tree. The cooler weather crops like peas and spinach do really well in these - except this year the birds got to them before they could get off to a good start. About 8 spinach plants survived and we enjoyed our first picking a couple nights ago.
Each year, at the beginning of the garden season, my husband tills in a couple bags of Nutri-Mulch into the raised bed gardens. It helps refill the boxes and gives the plants an extra boost. The broccoli, cabbage, and onion plants are thriving there. Thankfully, the birds have left those plants alone.

Container Gardening

Because I am unable to fit everything I'd like to grow in our raised bed gardens, I've tried growing cucumbers, green peppers, and tomatoes in pots I used to only have flowers in. They did especially well last year when my husband installed a separate drip irrigation system into each pot. This year I decided to plant radishes in a window box container and some green peppers, too.

My Version of Traditional Gardening -
Vegetables in the Flower Beds

Instead of planting annual flowers along the back of the house in between my perennials, I've planted some tomato plants, green pepper plants, Anaheim pepper plants, onions, and carrots this year. It's like traditional gardening because the seeds and plants are put directly into the ground. (I did mix a little Nutri-Mulch into the soil to help condition it before I did the planting.)

Square Foot Garden

This year we decided to add a Square Foot Garden to our backyard. Opting to leave our automatic sprinkling system in place - which comes out about 15" from the fence - my handy husband was able to fit a 1' x 46' Square Foot Garden between the back fence and the sprinkler heads. Other bonuses, this spot has full sun all day and an optional trellis (the fence).

I'm going to be keeping watch to see whether the onions do better in the raised bed garden, traditional garden, or Square Foot Garden. I've got them planted in all three this year. Yeah, we like onions. :)


Anonymous said...

How creative you are!

Putting a whole row of tomato plants along the fence...what a wonderfully clever idea!

You should have a very well fed family this summer and fall!

Thanks a lot for sharing this,

K P said...

Thanks Joyce!

We'll have plenty of tomatoes indeed. We're calling it our "Salsa Garden" and hope to make lots of salsa this year.

Along with the numerous tomato plants, we've planted green, yellow, and red peppers, some onions, basil, beans, cucumbers, a pumpkin, and strawberry plants in the 46' Square Foot Garden.

You can really fit a lot in a Square Foot Garden!

Lynn said...

Your gardens are beautiful!!! I can't wait to get ours in this weekend. It's been SO cold up here. It's a very late spring....but the sun is shining now! YAY! I am so inspired by your ideas. Thanks!

The Garden of Egan said...

Beautiful plants! I love gardens and watching things grow. Thanks for this blog. I check it out all the time and get great ideas.

K P said...

Thanks Lynn!

We seemed to have had a later than usual spring here, too. I jumped the gun on putting out my tomatoes and pepper plants a bit early and lost 3 or 4 to a light frost. (That's one of the reasons I planted so many.)

Hope it warms up soon for you and stays that way. :) Good luck with your gardening!

K P said...

Thanks Garden of Egan!

It was interesting, my married daughter recently told me something like this, "I didn't used to get excited about gardening until we planted some seeds ourselves. It's so exciting to see them come up."

I enjoy watching things grow, too. It's fulfilling. And strangely, I don't seem to mind weeding like I did when I was a child. :)

Anonymous said...

Garden looks great, Sister! I pulled out some of my wildflowers in the back and planted a few things. I also planted pepper plants among the flower beds on the side and front of the house. I had some last year that Mom gave me that did really well among the flowers so thought I'd try it again.

K P said...

Thanks Julie! What else did you plant?

Anonymous said...

Looks so good!


Anonymous said...

I planted some carrots (aren't coming up), beans (just starting to come up), crook-neck yellow squash (haven't come up - old seeds), cucumbers (I think they are coming up), 2 Roma tomatoes, and a zucchini.