Tag Archives: square foot gardening

My gardening bibles

These are the books I use as resources to guide my gardening practice:

Square foot gardening by Mel Bartholomew – An excellent practical guide for an overall space saving planting system. I like this version better than All new square foot gardening because it’s more detailed.

You grow girl by Gayla Trail – Great for affordable and nifty tips and tricks as well as and creative ways of enjoying your gardening experience, including making your own body products from plants in your garden. Focus on container gardening.

Grow great grub by Gayla Trail – same as above except the focus is on growing food in and out of containers. The recipes are for consuming rather than making body products.

Great garden companions by Sally Jean Cunningham – Detailed advice on companion planting. The drawings are beautiful and so is her garden!

Carrots love tomatoes by Louise Riotte is a classic. Many many authors either quote or recommend her companion planting wisdom in their resource list (I’ve only breezed through it in the past). I’ve used other resources but these are the ones I turn to most often.

8 x 4 square feet of heaven

There are so many intricacies to a successful garden, I find I can only focus on a few things each year. This year I’ve begun to seriously look at dealing with pests and preventing disease beyond companion planting methods. For example, I’ve put down egg shells to deter slugs and snails and used milk in the soil around my tomatoes to prevent disease. Eventually I’d like to get into preserving methods such as canning and drying herbs. It would also be fun to make my own body products.

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July 5th visit

I swung by the garden on Thursday after work. It was still early enough in the evening to be able to see what was happening, unlike Tuesday night.

I pulled up some carrots, which turned out to be mostly greens. I don’t particularly like the taste of the green tops so I just took home the roots. They tasted OK. I think my carrots did better in the fall last year.

Carrots, sadly more greens that roots

One of the carrots bolted and sent up this weird-looking flower. When I pulled it up there was no root. I suppose I could have taken the flower head and tried to dry it for the seeds, but carrot seeds are really tiny and I didn’t feel like dealing with it. Plus I still had tons to plant for fall harvest.

Carrot’s gone to seed or bolted

Discovered another garden critter as I was closely inspecting one of several sunflowers I have in the plot (that’s another story, why I have so many sunflowers). Daddy long legs are one breed of spider that I don’t find scary. In fact, they’re pretty cool.

Looks like a daddy long legs!

The cucumber is getting bigger and using the nearby sunflower as a trellis. I got the idea of planting the two together from the March 29th post of  Oakvale Green Community Garden‘s Facebook page entitled Spring Gardening: *8 Unusual Planting Tips You Can’t Miss. Apparently sunflowers improve the taste of cucumbers. Who knew!

Cucumber using a sunflower to stabilize itself

I think I saw a cucumber beetle on the zucchini: a bright yellow, black stripped little guy. I remembered seeing a picture of it somewhere but couldn’t remember if it was a good guy or bad guy in the garden. Turns out it’s a bad guy that will attack my cucumbers and zucchinis so I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

A neighbouring gardener (who’s name I can’t recall)  pointed out that I had 3 zucchini plants in my garden, two large ones (that are bearing fruit!) and a small one. I’ll have to remove the small one as there won’t be room for it. It seems to be doing pretty good. I wonder who I can give it to…

I see fruit! Yes!

Of the many sunflowers I have in the plot, only one of them has fully opened.

Sunflower finally opens

From what I remember of Square Foot Gardening technique, beets should be pulled when they are about 2 1/2 to 3 ” in diameter. When they get too big, they aren’t as tasty. I plan to pull some this weekend and plant some more in the fall. I think they did better in the fall last year, just like the carrots.

Beets, so colourful!

My garden neighbour asked what type of tomatoes I had and tried to arrange a swap for later in the season. I have red and yellow pear tomatoes and he has brandywine and some other type of hierloom. Such community.

Yellow or red pear tomato

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