Tag Archives: celery

Playing in the Garden

Delightful Children’s Books

 

I’m very happy that our garden is alive at all right now. Our weather has roller-coastered between hard freezes and a high of 90 today. We also had a timer malfunction on the garden irrigation system, so the plants were really badly overwatered at one point before we figured out the problem and replaced the timer.

 

Now I THINK we’re finished with the hard freezes. Our temperatures are still roller-coaster-y, though. 90 today. 60 tomorrow. 80 the following day….

 

I need to take some sharp scissors to clean up the plants. Some have bad leaves. I did get out a few arrogant weeds today, though. :0)

 

Here you see red lettuce leaves and spinach.

 

As you can see in this, and the next, pictures, some of the celery is doing well. Some has croaked.

 

 

This is the south side of the garden. I’m growing Georgia Sweet Onions in the back, red lettuce and spinach in the middle, and broccoli, cauliflower, and celery in the box closest to you.

 

Romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, and red lettuce in the planters in the north row.

 

Spinach sprouts on the window sill.

 

One celery plant and two spaghetti squash sprouts here.

Hopefully, things will settle down now and my plants can grow in peace.

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

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Here is one row of our garden. You can see three ‘boxes’ from front to back tied together by the irrigation system, which is on a timer we can control. Most of the garden is in now.

 

This is the second row of the garden with another three boxes.

I just went over and hugged my husband again, thanking him (1) for the idea of our building a raised garden (when he saw how very hot, tired, and achy I got getting up and down, planting, weeding, and harvesting the garden on the ground), (2) for all the time and energy he spent building and installing the boxes, cutting and welding the support tables that hold up the wooden boxes, designing the irrigation system, (3) for encouraging me to spend what I needed to get – and keep – things going in the garden.

 

I visit the garden at least once a day – covering or uncovering the plants in protecting them from freezes, pulling the weeds that install themselves even up in the air, pulling off dead leaves on the plants, taking pics, and – the best part – when I can actually start harvesting what we’ve grown!

 

I’ve planted Georgia Sweet Onions, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Red Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Radishes, celery, and spaghetti squash. Probably next month, when the stores have a good selection, I’ll get three tomato plants. In another three weeks, I’ll get three more, making a total of six. We have two brick planters on the east side of the house converted to square foot gardens, filled with Mel’s Mix, ready to receive the plants.

 

We’re off to a good start!

Do you like to grow veggies? I would love to hear from you, comparing notes on how you do it.  I would love to hear about tips you have on getting a healthy crop, suggestions you have so that I can do a better job. I’m a real novice and appreciate all the help I can get. :0)

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A Tour of My Refurbished Window Sill

I told you that during a severe thunderstorm last week, one of our dining area windows we didn’t latch blew open, carrying half of my plants and other goodies off the window sill and onto the floor, all in a heap.

I have re-potted what I could and planted more.

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Two celery plants: the one on the left was undisturbed. I re-potted the one on the right with fingers crossed.

 

 

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Three more celery plants.

 

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The large leafed plant is a spaghetti squash that was dashed to the floor. I think it MIGHT live! The other plants here are celery plants.

 

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This is a long-lived plant that I started years ago. Happily, it was just to the left of the window that blew open.

 

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One of my dear friends gave me this orchid a couple of years ago. It was looking sad, and suddenly it had these two blooms!

 

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A newly started group of spaghetti squash. No action yet.

 

 

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A newly planted bunch of spinach seeds. No action yet here, either.

I’m hoping I can transfer some of these plants to the garden mid month. I’ve never had celery grow before, so I’m excited to see if I can actually do it. The spaghetti squash is an entirely new try, too. I saved the seeds from the squash I bought from the store.

I haven’t found ANY spinach plants locally, so I’m especially eager for the new seeds to do well. I was really sad when the ones I had growing were thrown onto the floor. They were about 2 inches high. Fingers crossed!

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Potted Cat

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This potted cat is definitely ready to harvest. I don’t know why Abby loves to sleep in a pot under the table on the back porch, but she does it every time we’re enjoying airing out the house, as we are today.  We could have saved a LOT of money on cat  beds.

In other plants, the celery is continuing to do well. I now have seven plants in soil on the window sill. I’m planning to move them to the garden mid-March, if they’re still alive then.

My spinach seeds still weren’t sprouting. One of my books suggested putting the seeds in water before planting for about 30 minutes. I did that this morning and then put the pots on the window sill. Fingers crossed.

I’ll plant my Sweet Georgia Onion sets this week some time. I’m hoping, but don’t really believe, that we’re past killing freezes yet.

Meanwhile, I was checking this around the yard and had a big surprise. My daffodils are not only sprouting – they’re BLOOMING!

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I’m really ready for spring. We’ve had a wonderful winter, with hardly any ice. I would love it if we could simply sneak into spring now, allowing the sprouting plants the longest possible life without getting zapped. These sweet daffodils really raised my spirits today.

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Garden Wrapped Up for the Night

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I just spent an hour in our raised bed, square foot garden,  weeding, pruning, and harvesting lettuce and some small bits of broccoli.

 

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These pics were taken before I started pruning. You can see some of the leaves that needed to be cut.

 

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This is mainly broccoli and cauliflower.

 

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This is a good pic to show the whole fall garden. I can’t tell you how much I love being able to take care of things without having to bend over double or get up and down on my hands and knees over and over.  I got the three planters covered with sheets before I left because it’s supposed to freeze tonight.

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I never thought I would describe cauliflower as “cute,” but I have the sweetest, teeny, tiny heads of cauliflower I’m trying to protect. The largest one is about 2-1/2 inches across.

 

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The lettuce is still producing, though I’m having to prune more and more leaves off, due to the incredible changes in temperature. (Example – 70 degrees this afternoon, and 32 degrees tomorrow morning…) If you look carefully, you can see a salad blend plant in this pic – toward the upper left hand corner – it’s burgundy.

 

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Here’s a difference kind of lettuce. It’s still looking pretty good.

 

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This is the ‘celery that could’ (like the little engine that could in the children’s story.) I planted it weeks ago. It’s still little bitty, but – as you can see – very healthy and green. I’m cheering it on, trying to protect it as much as possible. SWEET little celery plant…

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The Garden Still Lives!

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For two nights this week I’ve had to spread sheets over our fall raised bed, square foot garden, trying to bring the plants through the freezes. Last night it wasn’t supposed to freeze, so I held my breath and didn’t cover the plants. I went out to check on things this morning and all our plants were still alive! I have several different types of lettuce that I’m HOPING I can continue to harvest into January. Time will tell. The above is head lettuce.

 

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I’m not sure what this is called, but the leaves are frilly and curly.

 

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This is kind of ruffle-y.

 

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This is one of the two raised bed planters that are almost entirely devoted to broccoli and cauliflower, although you can see two lettuce plants on the left.

 

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This planter is almost entirely lettuces. If you look carefully, there’s a ‘salad blend’ brownish lettuce in the center. The weather was so warm I almost lost the lettuce plants due to them trying to bolt. That’s why the plants are so tall. I have no clue what will happen, but I’m harvesting every two or three days for as long as they’ll allow.

 

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This is the treasure I found this morning – a teeny, tiny head of cauliflower! Isn’t it cute? :0)

I tried to grow celery this year, planting three ‘bottoms’ of celery I had gotten at the store. Two immediately croaked when I transferred them to the planter, but one is still alive, quite green, but only has small leaves and doesn’t seem to be growing. I’m just glad I tried, kept one alive, and will keep trying.

I finally folded up the king sized sheets I used to cover the planters. We MIGHT get much-needed rain tomorrow and I don’t want the sheets to get wet.

So far, so good!

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The Fall Raised Bed Square Foot Garden

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You can see two of the three 4×4 foot squares of our raised bed, square foot garden in this picture. I’ve been trying to grow broccoli, cauliflower, two kinds of lettuce, celery, and radishes this fall. You can also see the three NEW squares we now have ready for the spring.

 

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I harvested some broccoli and some lettuce this afternoon. I’ll post pics as soon as my camera battery is recharged. (Don’t you wish WE could recharge our batteries by just plugging into an outlet on the wall?)

 

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Our weather here is nuts. We’ve been having some really nice weather for the past couple of weeks. Today and tomorrow, though, the highs are in the mid 80’s – followed by Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with possible hard freezes. I’ll go out and clean up the garden as much as possible this afternoon. Tomorrow evening we’ll take down the automatic irrigation system for the garden. I’ll still be able to turn it on manually, if needed, but we don’t want the system to freeze. I’ll also plan to cover the plants with sheets for the three days. We usually have a cold snap that kills everything, followed by warmer weather. I’ll do what I can to keep things going as long as possible.

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The Irrigation System is Working!

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My husband worked really hard in the bright sun today, adding irrigation to the three new raised bed planters.  In the middle of each raised box, we have a sprinkler. The three of these are tied together by lengths of hose mounted on 1 x 2s that span the length of the three planters. Then the three sprinklers are attached to the main control, a faucet that we can use to control the amount of water that is sprinkled onto the plants. We can control the north side of the garden separately from the south side. These are attached to a hose that runs to the outdoor faucet on which we have a control system with a timer that allows us to select when the plants are watered and for how long a time.

 

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These are the three new planters on the north side of the garden. We’ll use these starting in the spring.

 

 

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These are the three planters on the south side of the garden where I’ve planted two kinds of lettuce, some celery, radishes, broccoli and cauliflower.

 

 

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The two kinds of lettuce (head lettuce and salad blend) are mainly in the closest planter in the picture, though the bright green in the second planter is also head lettuce.

 

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This is the garden, with the picture taken looking to the west. I need to harvest again soon! :0)

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Fall Garden Progress 10-22-2016

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This is a planter with broccoli and cauliflower. The plants are looking healthy, but I have no clue how much actual FOOD we’ll get…

 

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On the far right and the far left, toward the top of this picture, you can see some broccoli florets! Woo Hoo!!!! :0)

 

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This planter is mainly two kinds of lettuce: head lettuce and ‘salad blend’. There is a teeny tiny celery plant that is very green and still alive, and I’m going to plant a 2nd batch of radishes today.

The next pictures you see won’t have the fabric shade at the top. I’m about to go out now, spread the cedar chips under the new planters, and start snipping wire tires that hold the fabric shade in place all the way around the garden.

Wish me luck?

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Fall Garden – 10/9/2016

I enjoyed harvesting some lettuce and a batch of radishes today.

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We put up another raised bed planter recently. It’s the first of three on the north side of the garden.

 

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You can see that I’ll need to make more Mel’s Mix to fill this planter up. You can also see the template we use to figure out where to drill the holes for the planter legs standing up against the back fence of the garden.

 

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This picture shows the spot between the raised bed planter and the last on-the-ground square foot planter. I dug the Mel’s Mix out of the one in the middle, putting it into three trash cans, waiting for us to install the 2nd planter. That will leave just one more planter and our project will be finished and ready for next spring’s planting.

 

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Meanwhile, we’re really enjoying the fall garden in the raised bed planters on the south side of the garden. Here you can see the empty square where I harvested the batch of radishes. I’ll plant some more in the next day or two. The empty looking square next to the corner one has a piece of celery trying to grow.

 

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The other two planters have a bunch of healthy looking greenery from cauliflower and broccoli plants, but nothing that looks like veggies yet.

 

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This is a close up of the lettuce plants. Some are called ‘salad blend,’ and the bright green are head lettuce. (Please pretend you DON’T see the little weed in the bottom right hand corner…)  :0)

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Fall Garden Update – 9/28/2016

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This picture shows you the north side of our square foot garden. We finally got the last vertical pole out, so we can now start installing the three raised bed garden boxes and the irrigation system that will go with it. We’re not going to plant in these until next spring, so we’re not in a hurry. I’m emptying out each 4 foot x 4 foot square into trash cans, saving as much of the Mel’s Mix as possible. Then we fill the planter box and then move to the next one.

 

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This is the first of the three raised bed planters we’re using for our fall garden. The plants have at least doubled in size now. We have a broccoli plant, some celery, and two different kinds of lettuce planted in this one: salad blend and head lettuce.

 

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This is the second raised bed planter. We have head lettuce (the light green plants close to you) and the rest is broccoli and cauliflower plants. I have no clue whether I’m just going to get a lot of green, or actually get broccoli and cauliflower. Fingers are crossed.

 

rbg6This is the third raised bed planter, filled with broccoli and cauliflower. I really love the way I can walk around each raised bed, can reach all the squares easily for planting, weeding, and harvesting.

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Fall Garden Harvest # 2

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The fall garden is doing really well right now. I harvested lettuce for the 2nd time yesterday. I could have harvested a bunch more, but I want it to last as long as possible. We’re eating a lot of salad now, and enjoying about half of it being from our garden. The plants are really producing, happy with the suddenly cooler weather (high of about 80 degrees F). I think both plants and people are feeling a burst of energy right now. :0)

 

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The celery I tried to grow by cutting off the bottoms of the celery I bought at the store and putting them in water to grow roots, then putting them in the garden didn’t work yet. I have another plant started in the house and will transfer it to the garden as soon as it looks like it might live out there. I love this idea and will keep trying it.

Our cauliflower and broccoli plants have doubled in size in the past few days. I can’t believe how large they are. So far, they’re just leaves, and I’m HOPING we actually get some veggies, instead of just showy plants….

My radishes are looking good, too.

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My husband got antsy to try to get the last large vertical pipe out of the garden yesterday. We haven’t received the replacement pipe puller yet, but he decided yesterday was the day. He MADE a puller out of iron, putting stiffeners on the edges and cutting the hole in it freehand with the torch. It gave a good pull, but no bananas. We put a bunch of water around the concrete, thinking that would make the pulling more effective. We did this twice, to no avail. We took the grinder and a long extension cord out there and he cut the pipe off at ground level.

Now he’s antsy to start installing the last three raised planters we made for the garden, but we have other priorities right now. We have plenty of time. We’re not going to use them until the spring.

Meanwhile, I hope I’m not driving you nuts, telling you how MUCH I loved the raised planters. I walk out, stand there calmly pulling out weeds and adding them to the bucket I brought out, or snipping lettuce leaves in comfort, putting them in the special harvesting basket. I’m STANDING there, doing my gardening, not down on my hands and knees, getting up and down, up and down, over and over until I’m exhausted; or bending over double in order to reach the weeds or plants. I’m thoroughly spoiled already!!!!

 

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Fall Garden 2016

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Here is one of our fall raised bed planters. I’ve planted radishes, celery, salad blend lettuce, and head lettuce in this one.

 

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The second planter has some head lettuce, cauliflower, and broccoli.

 

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And the third planter has broccoli and cauliflower.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is that this old broad can walk out to the garden and plant, weed, and harvest while standing up comfortably!  I have no clue whether the plants will be successful or not, but I have some good, healthy plants at this point and lots of enthusiasm.

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Planted and UnPlanted

gardeningkiwi.wordpress.com

gardeningkiwi.wordpress.com

We had a good storm overnight. We awoke to low 80’s and MUCH less humidity!  Hooray!!!

I had gotten two 6-packs of head lettuce yesterday, so I got those planted today, finishing up my fall garden planting in my new raised bed planters. I have broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots, radishes, and two kinds of lettuce: ‘salad blend’ and ‘head lettuce.’

I used this opportunity to go ahead and dismantle the north side of the garden. I harvested what I could – one small tomato and some cucumbers – and then laboriously pulled out all the plants, small tomato cages, large tomato cages, etc. Since we’re replacing the ground square foot planters with three more raised bed planters, I also dismantled that side of the irrigation system, then unscrewed the wooden and pvc pipe dividers. I had to work hard to get the small fence down that we had put up for climbing plants, but I got it unhooked and rolled it up and took it out of the garden.

The next step – NOT TODAY! – will be to start carefully digging up the Mel’s Mix from the planting squares so we can use it as part of the filling for the new planters once we get them up.

I’ll take pics as we go. We don’t need the new planters up until spring, so we’ll try to choose the nicest days we can find. Meanwhile, I’ll try to get some pics of the fall garden to show you.

I worked outside for over 3 hours today, so this old lady is more than ready for some lunch, another bottle of water, and some serious relaxing!

Hope your day is going well, too!

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Eureka!

GreenlaneGardens

GreenlaneGardens

I was starting to lose hope on finding salad plants for my fall garden. My husband said he wanted to go to north Fort Smith after Lunch Bunch today, so suggested I call Neumeier Nursery & Florist to see if they had lettuce. (I had gone to, or called everyone else, including Sutherlands in Fort Smith, who said they MIGHT get some in the next few weeks, but they didn’t know for sure.)

We got the supplies my husband wanted and then made our way to the far side of Fort Smith to Neumeier’s. This is such a wonderful place. I’m very thankful we don’t live close to them, or my husband would be VERY upset at all the money I would spend. Not only did they have lettuce plants for me, they also have a wonderful shop with all KINDS of wonderful, useless things I WANT. Even my husband saw a ceramic painted and glazed tree frog on the wall he wanted. When we discovered the price, we decided we could live without him…

I got ten ‘salad blend’ plants. The lady told me to wait a week before planting them to give them time to grow better roots. My husband suggested that I put the whole flat of plants on top of the free raised bed planter. This way they’ll get sun and be watered each day while they continue growing their roots.

I’ll try to get them planted Thursday or Friday of next week. When I get these in the ground, my fall garden will be complete, except that I’ll start another square of radishes, and have one remaining square to try to grow celery from the bottoms I’m cutting and sprouting from my grocery store celery. I’m excited. Last fall was the first time I’ve ever tried to have a fall garden. We had fresh lettuce and spinach through January!

I also harvested yesterday. Here’s a picture –

 

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I think these are the weirdest cucumbers I’ve ever had. The dark green one in the middle MIGHT be Zucchini, but I’m not sure. Things are really winding down in the main garden now, even though we still have a lot of greenery. I’m going to start pulling things up and cleaning things out in preparation for transitioning the north side of the garden into the rest of the raised bed garden. We have three 4’x4′ boxes and the metal support supplies ready whenever the garden is over and I get things cleaned out. Happy gardening!

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Fall Garden Begun!

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It was super hot and muggy here yesterday afternoon (heat index 100 degrees +), but we had found cauliflower and broccoli plants at Sutherlands. I got two 9 packs of each. The picture above shows our new raised bed planters for the fall garden. There are three 4 foot x 4 foot raised planters in a row with sprinklers attached for irrigation. This is a picture of what they looked like when we started.

 

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We used really stretchy nylon string to mark the squares, anchoring the string on short screws I put in a 1 foot intervals around the planter edge.

 

 

 

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In a square foot garden, broccoli and cauliflower plants are planted one per square foot. You can see the markers in this picture. I was careful to plant broccoli in every other square so no two broccoli plants were planted side by side in either direction. According to Mel, this helps keep diseases down. I’ll take careful pictures of where things were planted in each raised bed so that I plant different kinds of plants in each square next time. This is for crop rotation.

 

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The plants I had filled two of the planters. Today I’ll plant some celery I started from ends of stalks bought at the grocery store, putting the ends in water and letting them sprout, plus carrots and radishes. I’m waiting for lettuce and spinach to be available at the co-op or Sutherlands to complete the fall garden.

  • Note 1: My moniker “Serial Seed Killer” is still sadly intact.  The broccoli was sprouting, and some of the lettuce. My husband thought the tray needed more sun, so we took it out and put it on the porch. A storm suddenly blew up and blew the top off the tray. We replaced it, but the damage was done. The sweet little sprouts lay dead the next morning. :0(
  • Note 2: Even though it took me two sessions to get things planted – due to my getting over-heated and needing to drink water, cool off, and rest after the first session, the raised planters we installed are WONDERFUL. We made sure that I can get in-between each planter easily, so I’m not having to do a balancing act to reach each of the squares. I didn’t have to bend over double or get up and down on my knees over and over to get the planting done!
  • Note 3: I harvested a few tomatoes yesterday, but the north side of the garden is almost done – even though we still have a lot of greenery. When things are finished for the year, I’ll carefully pull the plants and we’ll dismantle the planters on the ground, one at a time, replacing them with the remaining three raised bed planters. They are ready to install. We’ll wait until the weather cools off, too, so we’ll have an easier time with the install than we did with the south side.

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