If you live in the mountains, as I do, you want to do two things. One is to take a sample of your soil to get it tested or but a simple test kit from your garden store. Mountain soil tends to be very base and may need something to neutralize it. My soil is also very deficient in Phosphorus reslulting in poor growth. Additives may be necessary. The second thing is get the first and last expected frost dates from the local weather bureau or nearest airport. My growing season can be as short as 60 days but usually runs 90 to 100 days. If that is your case choose varieties that produce fruit in the shortest time. Start everything you can indoors. I sure miss living along the Great Lakes where I could throw a seed in the air and it would grow wherever it landed for a good long time. Contact the local Master Gardeners group for help with local conditions for help and advise. That is what we are here for.
I am in year two of an adapted square foot garden. That is, it's not square, some beds are less than a foot, but I'm following the basic principles. For the first time I got a great yield from my vege garden. And although I have compromised about sun, the garden is more productive because I have placed it by my back door where I see it several times a day, so remember to water and just can't resist stopping to weed and harvest. I've been eating from it all year, including now which is the dead of winter and where we have snow at the moment, for the first time in 35 years!
We also tried a square foot garden this year and the results were amazing! Great for smaller plants, not so great for cabbage since it sheltered it's neighbor from the sun. We're planning on planting a fall crop of some cooler weather plants soon.
Could have used this article a few months ago... but maybe now I will be better prepared and follow directions better next year! We had plentiful basil, cilantro, jalepenos, and tomatoes but everything was smooshed together. Our onions didn't get big, and our strawberries, rhubarb, and raspberry and blueberry bush didn't grow, or do anything :o( Hopefully next year we can do a better job. Thanks for the info!
5/16/2010 11:20:19 PM
As we live in a new house with poor soil, I started square foot gardening. I am so looking forward to see if the raised beds arranged as described can really grow more food!
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