Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More Sq. Ft. Gardening: What I Planted and Resources for Your Own Garden

Before I finish the square foot gardening post I started last week, I want to take a quick minute to remember Lucille, seen here on the blog last summer.

She died today from injuries sustained in a possum attack last night.  Poor, sweet girl.  She's the only hen we've lost to a predator in the nearly two years we've kept chickens.  My husband--ever the avenger--made swiss cheese out of dispatched the possum so our other ladies won't be in any further danger.

Such is life in the country.

R.I.P., Lu. :(


So, back to square foot gardening.  Last week, I cleaned out two raised beds in our garden, added vermiculite to the preexisting compost/topsoil mix, and created grids with baling twine.

I then planted 10 heirloom tomato seedlings (4 Pink Brandywine and 6 Cherokee Purple) that my mom gave me.

In the rest of the squares of the two beds, my little helper and I planted these seeds:

  • Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Black Beauty Zucchini
  • Cocozelle Zucchini
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Spacemaster Cucumbers
  • Blue Lake Bush Beans
  • Sugar Baby Watermelons
  • Detroit Dark Red Beets
  • Hearts of Gold Canteloupe
  • Chadwick Cherry Tomatoes
  • Chives

Planting peas

One more seed to plant in that square!

For information on how many seeds to plant per square, check out Plant Spacing for a Square Foot Garden. All New Square Foot Gardening does not have an exhaustive list of plant types, so this Web site was a great additional resource.

And I also found this spreadsheet on companion planting quite helpful as I laid out the grids and determined where to place seeds.

So that I don't forget anything, as I'm very prone to do, I'm keeping a notebook with diagrams of each bed, noting what and how many seeds were planted in each square, and when they were planted. 

Speaking of the seeds, all were from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange of Mineral, VA and Sow True Seed of Asheville, NC.  Most are organic and heirloom varieties native to the Southeast U.S.  Just trying to keep it local/regional!

If you're looking for vermiculite, it can be hard to come by as it's not generally carried in big box stores. I found this handy-dandy spreadsheet on My Square Foot Gardening that lists retailers by state.  For folks in North Carolina, Fifth Season Gardening (locations in Carrboro, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh) carries vermiculite, as do a few other specialty gardening businesses in eastern and western NC.

I'll be cleaning out the mustard greens this week, and converting those beds to sq. ft. beds.  I need to pick up some corn and okra seeds, and probably a few more varieties of herbs, to add some diversity to the garden. And with all the rain we've had lately, hopefully we'll be seeing some sprouts in the coming weeks!


Sharing at:

Momma Hens Coop


  1. I "do" flowers, but not veggies, so am looking forward to seeing all your plants grow and produce! Seems like a lot of work/effort to me! I just go up to Carrboro on Saturdays... but I know, you can pick any day of the week for something even fresher. Nice work Erin!

  2. AWW...poor Lucille! We lost our sweet rooster, Beauregard, and 7 hens last Spring. Two bobcats killed them! So sad! We live in the mountains...bears, coyotes, wolves, raccoons, all kinds of predators! Like you said....Such is life in the country.But it is so worth it♥

  3. Goodmorning! I look forward to the progress of your garden and am working in my mind where I could fit one in. Fantastic family project! The LORD will have to take down some of these shade trees or my Dearest may have to let me have the front lawn! Miracles can happen! I am sorry to hear about Lucille (love the name!) - we've had a few Possums to invade our garden - one got inside our side porch - I, five feet away - batting at it with my broom saying, 'this is not your home!' It clinging to the screen door! The LORD protected this foolish woman that night! I am the one by the way who takes care of critters and dead animals. They call me Bunny Foo Foo...
    Shared enough! ;)
    Have a great day,

  4. Wow...look at you Miss Gardener!! This bed looks great! So sorry about your chicken...that's so sad :(
    Rotten possum. Your little helper is just adorable!
    Hope you see some spouts soon...

  5. I'm sorry Lucille is gone. She was a beauty.

    I have officially added you to my reader because I can tell your kickass garden is going to be fun to watch grow.

  6. Oh, bless your heart --- losing Lucille was such a terrible thing. I recently lost one of my dear roosters, Ralph Ramsey, and over the last year I lost Ethel Mertz, Mrs. Littlefield, and several baby chicks, all taken by predators. Yes, that's life on a farm. Not easy sometimes. I'm enjoyed this garden post and look forward to being a follower of your lovely blog. I send blessings from Windy Hollow Farm here in NC!

  7. I was wondering if your chicken was out free ranging when it was attacked or inside your coop?

  8. Erin, you've got a lovely blog! And garden--are you planning to really prune those heirlooms to fit into 1 sq. ft, 'cause those puppies grow BIG. :-) Those are my two favorite tomatoes, btw- good choices (of you and your mom!). I look forward to seeing how your garden grows.

    We are in the process of converting a three-sided shed into a chicken coop (I've only been waiting for 7 years...), sure hope we don't get 'possums!

    Thanks for sharing with us!

  9. Great blog! I found you via Centsational Girl. I'm sorry to hear about your hen Lucille. I wish we could have a hen house in the suburbs of Upstate NY!! I am also starting a Square Foot Garden, can't wait to get it together!

  10. I love the idea of growing veggies ~ sorry to hear about your Lu! I had a hawk hit my coop a few weeks ago - we were fortunate, but i keep a closer eye out now! Hope to see you link up to Fishtail Cottage's Garden Party this week! love meeting new gardeners! xoxo, tracie


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