I have been busy the last 2 weeks working in the backyard and garden. I don’t know if you remember the raised bed vegetable garden we started last year or not, but you may have noticed that there was not much mention of it after that first post. Why? Because it was an epic fail. Let’s just say that my thumb is a little more brown than green. But I am DETERMINED to master this, so I approached the garden with a lot more planning and intention this year.
I started a little gardening journal, where I keeping all of my planting dates and notes on specific care and harvest instructions. I started out by doing some yard measurements and tracking the amount of sunlight each part of the backyard gets each day. Then I tested the pH levels of my soil, which all tested pretty neutral.
I opted to plant a Square Foot Garden this year, and planned mine out using this free online planner. After working in about 9 bags of mushroom compost, I used twine to mark off my squares. My garden is 5′ x 10′, so I had 50 squares to work with. Because the garden is 5′ wide instead of the typical 4′, I placed two stepping stones in the very center so that I will be able to reach the middle plants easier.
On the left end of the garden, Phillip will be building me trellis, so I planted 1 square of watermelon, 2 of cantelopes, and 2 of cucumbers. The next row is squash, zuchinni, thyme, and peppers. Next is more squash and zuchinni, tomatoes and peppers. In the middle of the garden are onions, garlic, carrots, and red potatoes. Heading toward the right are the rest of my herbs: basil, cilantro, parsley, and oregano. Then I planted a row of marigolds to help deter pests, leaving the last 2 rows for the spreading of my 5 strawberry plants.
Here are the strawberry plants up close. Because strawberries prefer a more acidic soil, the garden expert at Lowe’s recommended pine straw for mulch because she said as it breaks down, it will naturally make the soil more acidic.