Spring is in the midst of springing, so time to plant the winter greens! Doesn’t this look pretty?
It took a bit of work to get here though….
First, we had to fill up the beds and that meant another batch of Square Foot Gardening recommended Mel’s Mix. But before that could go in, some reworking of existing soil was necessary. I hadn’t planned for crop rotation last year when placing tomatoes and peppers. I had some in both beds. Rotation of nightshades is preferred because they use a lot of nitrogen from the soil. So – solution was to shovel out the soil about 6″ down from the beds that the tomatoes were in and use that to fill in another bed like so:
Now on to Mel’s Mix components. This mix is 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 compost. The compost should come from 5 different sources. Here’s what we used this time around:
Compost types: cow manure, fish trimmings, crab meal, bat guano, mushroom, earthworm castings, and forest trimmings. We hit 7 types of ingredients! All purchased from Lowes, Country Boys Nursery, Earthen Organics and South Pleasantburg Nursery. These combined with vermiculite and peat moss and we’re good to go!
It was really muddy out, so I made sure to put on my boots!
You may remember that last year, our tarp split in two while we were mixing the composts. We smartly bought a canvas tarp this year and made the mix in two batches.
One batch filled in each 4’x4′ bed and we’re ready to plant!
You might notice that one kohlrabi made it through the winter ice and snow. I replanted it along with a 3 more seeds and hope it will do well!
We kept to the square foot gardening method and counted out seeds for each square. Some of the seeds (carrots!) are especially tiny, so we had to figure out how to best get them planted. I used one of my favorite friends – a sharpie marker – to both make the little labels AND to create the holes in the soil. Then, seeds went on a plate and I was able to pick them up with my clean hands. Yay – no dirt in the mouth from licking my fingers to pick up seeds!
So – the other thing that we did was to increase the landscape fabric all around the garden. That’s because I tend to walk out there barefoot and it will be so much better than mud.
I used Google Sheets to create a garden plan too – spring/summer/winter items for each square. I haven’t filled out all of the seasons, but wanted to make sure to plan correctly to minimize overlap. Click on the photo below if you’d like to see it in detail. All of the “spring” items were planted on 2/28 and I plan to put the “summer” items mid-April.
So – that’s it! The two gardens, along with the extra fabric, the one pot with Sugar Snap Peas in it and two empty pots look like this:
Stay tuned for more!