I wrote about it in the April issue of Craft Leftovers Monthly and am not sure if I ever talked about it here, but I’m starting a garden this year! At first I was going to have a plot in the community garden, but then Jason and I’s friend offered up his yard instead. You see he wants a garden and has a huge yard with full sun, but has never gardened before. I’ve gardened most my life (with my parent’s, then in the neighbor’s yard, and then at my grandpa’s) except the last three years, but have no yard. It’s a perfect match.
Of course I have to plan it out! So I’ve been looking all around the internet for seed planting charts (a very helpful one here and here). Iowa State actually has quite a few articles in pdf for free or a small fee that cover many topics of gardening, browse around and learn some great gardening skills. And of course projects! There are three really great projects here on GardenPlans.com for a cold frame, bench, and butterfly house. Very nice. The BBC also has some really neat projects for the garden.
Thursday we dug a trench around a 20 X 24 foot space, sunk in some 12″ boards, put up some stakes and attached chicken wire. Then we tilled everything up and yesterday I laid out the beds with twine on stakes and cleaned the grass clumps out of each section. Today I’m going to finish planting all my plants and seeds and build my compost bin – which I will post about tomorrow along with a full plant list. Yesterday I was able to get half of the plants planted, no seeds in yet. For the fall I would really love to make a cold frame, but for now I think some supports for the beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers would be nice projects. Maybe some little fences for each plot inside the garden. I’m really want to weave some out of willow, but I need for find a source for it – maybe I’ll post on freecycle that I’m looking for a willow patch to harvest some from. There has to be someone here in ames that has extra.
I saw this mulched garden path project and although I won’t be making a path quite like that, I think I will use that technique to make some simple weed free paths between the garden sections, I think I will lay down newspaper and put straw over that for this year. I really like straw paths, they are super quick and easy and fairly inexpensive – just $7 for a bail of straw. We are kind of working off a square foot gardening method, but divided into 3 X 4 foot and 4 X 4 foot beds – it is easier for us with the garden size so we can have 2 foot paths between each bed. If you google “square foot garden” a TON of great sites both professional and personal come up. I found this site particularly useful – like the suggestion to get some venishan blinds from the thrift store and some brads to fasten them together to make the grid. Which I’m totally not going to do because I’m lazy – well excited to get started. I am just using estimated 1 foot squares for right now.
I have some questions for you: How do you compost? What do you compost? What do you edge your garden beds with? What’s your favorite flower, herb, vegetable to grow? what your favorite diy garden project?
Anyone who comments with an answer or two will be entered into a drawing for some seeds and a garden apron (this week’s pattern). You get one entry per answer, so the more questions you answer, the better your chance of winning!
My bread just came out of the oven so it’s time to go get the seeds in.
Have a good Sunday afternoon and enjoy the outdoors!