Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Constructing a Square Foot Garden

Even though our solid food-eating child eats only chicken nuggets, sausage, and pancakes, we thought it would be beneficial for him to realize that green foods do exist and, also, that these wonderful, although, from his perspective, suspicious, foods pop up right out of the ground.

So we decided to built ourselves a Square Foot Garden. There is a guy we like to call Miracle Mel. He is the guru of Square Foot Gardening. His real name is Mel Bartholomew. We bought his book. You can enjoy learning about earlier attempts at gardening in Honduras, here.

Getting corners square is not as easy as you might think. I used C-clamps and something that is already square (the sand box under the play tower) to set up my box. I attached the cedar 1 x 6s (4 foot long) at the corner with two 3-inch deck screws. One inch is not a lot of wood for a screw to bite, so make sure your screws are going in straight. Also helps if you have a sweet drill.

I reinforced my bottom with another cedar plank. This helped me stay square. It also gives my box more support. I put more deck screws in the corner and down one side.

I did my two corners, added the support plank, then connected the two halves with more deck screws. When I was done I had something that was pretty square.

I drilled holes in my reinforcing planks after I had everything squared up. This is to let water pass through. (You probably knew that.)

I put the boxes in the ground and buried the bottom planks. Zeke was a huge help here. He kept asking me what I was doing. So I had to tell him. That way I couldn't forget.

I put some anti-weed paper in the bottom of each garden. I then covered the bottom inch-and-a-half or so with about 150 pounds of fine sand. Zeke helped level the sand with a back hoe.

Then it was time for me to get my hands dirty. I spread out a tarp and mixed up a batch of Mel's Miracle Mix: peat, compost, and vermiculite. Zeke was a huge help here too.

That's it. Now I'm just waiting for Karine to plant something so I can eat it.


Kristin and Peter said...

What is Karine going to plant?!?!

cubamericana said...

Love the new look of the blog! Oh, and nice mini-tutorial on the garden, hope that your thumb is very green this year :)

Live Simply Love Strongly said...

Love the raised beds! That is a good book. I would add though, that I felt the tomato plants were pretty squished together when I used his recommendations.