Garden Party Anyone?

I have a friend from Homemaking Organized, who is an enormous fans of backyard gardening.  In honor of the season and the love of gardens, she is starting a link party, to share what we (you and me too!) are doing with our gardens this spring and summer!  Each month, we will focus on a specific theme related to gardens and what we are doing in our own.  We’d love for you to link up your garden photos, plans and adventures—anything you’re doing….Come on over and share~

 

This is the first  Garden Party linkup and this month, our theme is Garden Prep.

We have not been able to do much of that here in Wisconsin yet but here’s what we’ve been planning from our window thus far 🙂

 

Designing Our Garden

We have a wonderful backyard; I think its one of my favorite things about our home.  Not too big and not too small; we have a raised garden my dear husband built for me that is maybe 18ft x 12ft roughly. As you can imagine there is a lot you can do, gardening-wise ~ it’s easy to get carried away too!

In the last year or two this raised bed has been a blessing in so many ways.  This year (since we are expecting very soon, our fourth blessing) I am trying something new. Square foot gardening.  I am learning and reading the book (came highly recommended) by Mel Bartholomew called All New Square Foot Gardening.  As I read I learn how (I hope) I can pack in even more growing area to small spaces.  Bartholomew says that while most books tell gardeners to plant rows of thin seedlings 3″ apart, he has decided that dividing your garden beds into 12″ x 12″ squares and then planting 1-16 seeds in each square (he recommends you leave about 3″ around each one) makes less work and more harvest for the gardener.  Since I need to make a garden more manageable this year, that’s what we’re going to do too.

 

 

Since we already had the raised beds, we simply need to determine the best way to divide the large bed into smaller squares now.  We are still pondering this one; we also need to get the fence around the garden more stable this year since we tend to have a number of visitors that enjoy taking part in our harvest through the season.  While our children do love animals, especially those cute lil bunny rabbits, we are hoping to give them a bit less free access this year.. haha

 

Plan the  Plots

So we have to decide what we were are going to try to grow in each square now.  Last year’s crop consisted of tomatoes, sugar snap peas, squash, a variety of lettuce, kale and some berry bushes that we transplanted.  We actually had some pumpkins and watermelon we tried out!  Thinking of adding some peppers and cucumbers this year; my younger son is hoping we can plant some peanuts and corn (popcorn that is LOL) – I am hoping for eggplant maybe broccoli too.  Must still determine how to manage the berry bushes in there, and the strawberries too ~ transplant perhaps?

In the meantime I think it would look something like this:

 

 

I also want to include some herbs; maybe garlic and mint ~ rosemary, oregano, basil ~ I might do this separately though, indoors or outside in a big planter. We shall see.  If you have any suggestions do feel free to let me know too.

 

garden

 

Any luck with potatoes? Its another thing I am considering adding to my garden since it seems to be relatively easy to do and we do love potatoes around here:

 

If you need some help getting those wheels turning, or are more of an amateur gardener (such as myself), consider some fun and free resources to help start planning.

 

You can get a free Garden Planner from Mother Earth News

 

Also here is a FREE eGuide: Success With Container Gardening from Craftsy! (who doesn’t love Craftsy?)

 

And…..we’re off!

 

Be sure to check out Kemi’s Garden Party post as well:  We’re Preparing Our Garden: A Garden Party Link-Up.

 

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5 thoughts on “Garden Party Anyone?

  1. Hi Jennifer! Great job. Square foot gardening rules this year eh? I love your little (or is it big?) cute gardening area with the fence. We’ve been debating whether to put up a fence. There are bunnies in our neighborhood too.
    I’ve grown potatoes successfully for the past several years in those fabric like grow bags. If remember correctly we mixed potting soil with peat moss and then sprinkled on some oscomote for fertilizer. Kept it watered all summer and voila! If you want to know more just let me know and I’ll dig around for my specifics. Thanks for linking up!

    1. Hi Kemi!! This is our first year giving square foot gardening a try ~ Our garden is pretty big (I think) but with our berry bushes in there too, it can get tricky. Not sure how to best manage and this year I think is the year to really do it (this ink up should help motivate me haha) As for the potatoes, if you have any specifics you can share I definitely appreciate it (is it the same for sweet potatoes to do you think?) Excited for this year and lots of fu in the garden!

      1. Hi Jennifer! My husband has been busy building the rest of my square foot containers. I’m excited to see what I can produce. I didn’t get to plant potatoes last year and this year I haven’t figured out where they will go but before that for about 5 years I used this method => http://www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060122/news_1hs22sage.html
        I used a grow bag instead of a barrel but I did the whole peat moss thing and used oscomote(sp). I had three grow bags each growing a different variety. It really works well. It was one of my easiest things to grow. Now sweet potatoes are different. They come as plants slips not the potato themselves and I “think” you can eat the leaves. They need a lot more water and sun. I did badly with them because I didn’t have enough sun but I’m going to try them again maybe next year but you’ve given me a nudge to see if maybe I can do them this year. You think they can go into one of the square feet?

  2. I still need to figure out where our potatoes will go too I am thinking of trying the grow bag myself since that way I can just rest them perhaps on the outside of the garden. I am still pondering the sweet potatoes as well ( i love sweet potatoes) but I am not sure we have enough sun either. Out backyard is pretty spotty which makes things fun trying to get things growing and planted in just the right place 🙂 I am considering trying them though in one of the square feet myself. Let’s go for it!

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