Well its been 4 months with my SFG.  Let’s see what we learned.

I could not imagine how much fun I have been having with growing my own food.The fact that  I have yielded only a few peppers,  some peas and a carrot is of little consequence to me.  I have been learning about what to do and what not to do regarding my square foot garden. Let’s start with my dogs.

First Lesson:  Dogs and other animals.  The dogs sometimes get to go to doggy day care where they can play for a day with other dogs.  There is an 8′x8′ box of sand they get to dig in there.  Yay for my dogs.  Not so good for my garden.  I had to install a little fence around the garden.  You will see the black decorative, wire fence around the garden.  This sucks because it is hard to work on the garden, but it is good for some of my  plants that vine like peas.  After the fence was established and I caught the dog trying to get in once….  once was all it took to deter them.

Next lesson and most important:  Either start growing from seed in January or late December indoors or buy established plants in mid February.  This is critical.  I have certain plants that are still far from mature and it is July.  I am lucky that Houston will allow for long periods of summer growth, but it is still a pain to have lots of tomatoes but no peppers in July.

Water:  I cannot tell you how important it is to keep the soil moist.  I make sure I water a few times a week for at least 30 minutes. I know when the plants stop trying to grow, that the soil is getting dray.  It is important to check in a few different spots for moist soil.  Go down a couple of inches in the soil and make sure you are not just getting the top wet.  Roots will only go as deep as there is water.

 

The final and most important lesson: Better space planning.  Now that I know what the plants look like when mature, I have to find a better way to plant them.  I found a space planner online: Vegetable Planner.  I am not sure if this will work, but I am curious to see what else out there.   At first, the squash plants covered the pepper plants, then the peas covered the outside of the garden.  Now the tomatoes are so big, they cover the other side of the garden.  A lack of light and foliage from other plants will kill a garden.

I have learned to keep plants that vine and tomatoes on the far side of the garden to cast shade out of the garden and not over it.  It is critical to provide a high and wide lattice for the plants that vine as well.  I have also learned that gourd plants like squash will get a different section of garden in the future.  I will plant only a couple of them.  These gourd plants will destroy your garden if you put them too close to other plants.

I will post more pics of what we harvest.  This has been so much fun and the whole family likes helping.  I hope this has been helpful to others. Share your stories about your garden. Anything you know that would help me or others?  Leave a comment!

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