Woodhaven Place

Your Neighborhood Farm

Tag: Square foot garden

Product Spot Light: Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier

We use organic growing practices here at Woodhaven Place. Because of that we do not have an easy way to get ride of weeds in the garden. For years we spent time pulling, hoeing and even burning pesky interlopers. Then we discovered Curtis Stone and the wonders of Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier.

Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier

  • UV stabilized and permeable to air and water and a low cost, ecology safe alternative to herbicide use
  • Allows air and water to penetrate for worry-free irrigation
  • Guaranteed to last five years in direct sunlight; for greenhouse and outdoor use

 

 

We now use Weed Barrier all over the garden and it has cut down our work load by more then half. The best price we have found is on Amazon and is around $61 for the 3′ x 300′ roll BUT I looked this morning and the price is down to $41.31 with free shipping!!! That is the best price I have ever seen and I do not know how long it will last.  If you are having weed issues I highly recommend trying this out. This product could be used for a large market garden or a small back yard garden.

This is a link to a You Tube video Curtis did on how to use this product and what kind of impact it has had on his farm .

 

 

 

Top Ten Farmer Gifts For The Female FarmHER

“Women make do.” That’s what we do and the garden is no exception. When something does not work, we make it work because at the end of the day, things need to get done. As ladies have twisted, pulled, pushed, and toiled in the soil over the centuries, we have done so largely with the aid of tools designed for men.

Over the last few years, we have been given some fantastic farm related gifts and have tried out dozens of products. There are more and more companies making things specifically for hard working women (including work clothing!).  Continue reading

Square Foot Garden Layout

Here is the breakdown of what was in each bed. This was quite a few years ago however I thought it might help someone visualize lay out options. Each bed is divided into 12” squares. Running strings to set-up a grid makes the process easy. Some beds will not add up to 16, I had some blank squares to add herbs in later.
Bed 1 (4’x4’x6″)
• Four squares of peas – 6 plants per square (started from seeds, these did well)
• Three squares of broccoli – 1 plant per square (bought plants from garden store, all of these bolted before they got big enough to pick)
• Nine squares of cabbage – 1 plant per square (bought plants from garden store, I got 2 good cabbages however had some issues with slugs)

Bed 1

Bed 2 (4’x4’x12″)[This bed is deeper because root vegetables need deeper soil]
• Four squares of white onion starts – 16 per square (the kind that have green tops and bundled together, these did well)
• Four squares of white onion bulb starts – 16 per square (come in a bag of 84 bulbs, these did well)
• Three squares of sweet mini carrots – 16 per square (started from seeds, these tasted good however did not grow straight)
• Three squares of heirloom touchon carrots – 16 per square (started from seeds, these grew well and tasted great)
• Two squares of brussel sprouts (bought plants from garden store, these grew really well however I needed to harvest them more often)Bed 2
Bed 3 (4’x4’x6″)
• Three squares of cucumbers – 2 per square (started from seeds, these did fantastic I had a lot of cucumbers to pickle)
• One square of green beans – 6 per square (started from seeds, these grew well however I needed to plant more of them)
• Four squares of cabbage – 1 per square (bought plants from garden store, these bolted and never really did much)
• Eight emptyBed 3

Bed 4 (4’x4’x6″)
• Two squares of Roma tomatoes 1 per square (started from seeds, did now grow well)
• One square of super sweet cherry tomatoes – 1 per square (bought plants from garden store, grew very well)
• Four squares of Rutgers tomatoes – 1 per square (bought plants from garden store, grew well)
• Four squares of green bell peppers – 1 per square (bought plants from garden store, grew well)
• One square of red bell peppers – 1 per square (bought plant from garden store, never turned red)
• One square of hot peppers – 1 per square (started from seeds, never turned red)
• One square of jalapeno peppers – 1 per square (bought plants from garden store, grew very well)Bed 4
Most things grew well however I did have some issues. Broccoli and Cabbage are hard to grow in our area. I did not have luck with them my first year and I have not had much luck since then. They also take up quite a bit of room with not much return. If you have a small space to work with, I suggest passing on these two. The Brussel sprouts were fun to grow and did yield quite a bit however they take a long time to produce so if you want a fast return, skip this one. Two of the peppers I picked did not ripen, I am in zone 5 (some say 6 however it is a cold 6). I have learned to plant northern varieties and have had better luck however some years peppers still do not make it. If this is your first garden, plant a lot of different things; even if they do not grow well for you they will still teach you something!

Our First Garden a Square Foot Garden

When I first started gardening, we had a small yard and I had no idea what I was doing. I had very little experience with growing anything and I had just become a mom for the first time. I needed a method of gardening that was easy to understand and relatively low maintenance. Because we had a small yard and I wanted to try and grow a lot in a small space, I went with the Square Foot Method. The first thing I did was read “All New Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew. SquareFootGardeningKitWithBookThis book is fantastic! It gives very easy instructions for building the boxes, mixing the soil, building cages to keep the critters out, and what to plant when.

Clint helped me (he did a lot of the work…) build four boxes 4’x4′. Three of the boxes were 6 inches deep and one box was 12 inches deep. Most plants can grow in 6 inches of soil however I wanted to grow carrots and onions which need a bit more room. We built cages to sit on top of the boxs until the plants were big enough to keep out evil squirrels(our squirrels were possessed!!). They would do things just to mess with me, like dig up my plants and lay them next to the bed, hide things in my pots, and then they would sit on my deck looking in the windows to see my frustration.

I started by planting cabbage, broccoli, peas, and onions. Hindsight being 20/20 those might not have been the best first plants for me to choose but they did teach me a lot. Then later in the season, I planted carrots, brussel sprouts, peppers,P3110027
tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, more cabbage, and herbs. The Square foot method was perfect for me because of the grid it uses. Each 4 x 4 box is broken up into 1 foot squares and each square could be planted with something different. Mel’s book does a great job of explaining how much of each thing to plant in the square and if you are new to gardening I recommend you read his full book. This is a basic explanation of how much can go in each 1’ x 1’ block.

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cleversurvivalist made this image

By using raised beds, there was very little weeding and the soil was just right because we filled each box with a special mix called Mel’s Mix. I will do another blog that talks about mixing the soil for the boxes. I think this really is the perfect growing method to use for a first time gardener and it gave me a lot of confidence my first year. Many first time gardeners can get very discouraged by weeds and hard-to-work-with soil. Raised beds and a simple grid can fix many of those problems! This is also a way for someone who has no usable soil to grow their own food. Raised beds can be set on a deck, made to fit right next to a driveway, worked into a corner of a tiny yard or placed in a front yard if that’s where the sun is. I still use some aspects of square foot gardening in our huge market garden.

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