Hi All – So many of you watched the first stages of the boys building me a couple of raised garden boxes for Mother’s Day (pics below) and have asked how it is going.
Here’s a sneak peak of the progress. Just maybe, it will inspire you to try too.
Building of the Boxes (Square Foot Style)
We received some great advice from a friend who suggested we take a crack at square foot gardening which allows you to:
- maximize growing space;
- easily interchange what is grown; and also
- easily track the progress of all the different crop varieties.
To make the boxes, we started with
- Redwood, lag bolts; and ‘L’ brackets.
- Ordered organic garden soil from a local sand and gravel company;
- Mixed in some organic compost and minerals to help retain moisture.
- The piece de resistance was my handy husband added in a sweet garden irrigation system that mists everything a couple of times a day.
- Can’t forget to tell you about the hardware cloth we put on the bottom of the beds so the critters can’t crawl up and underneath. Genius!
- Lastly, we created a wood grid system to lay over top of the garden beds to divide up each of the squares and then made some adorable wooden garden markers out of shims and chalk markers to track what each square contains.
She Started A Garden
Typically when I start any big project, I grab a three ring binder, put in a custom cover page and then try to contain all my thoughts and randomness in one place.
Let the dreaming begin…
Mapping Out the Garden
We plotted out a graph of each garden bed to help figure out what we wanted to plant in each box and placed them in order of harvest. My daughter had the brilliant idea of placing the flower garden in order of color based on the rainbow so that’s what we went with but got a little creative with adding in some green varieties (broccoli raab, arugula, swiss chard, kale) smack in the middle.
Here was our first rough draft of our vision using the images from the front of the seed packets:
Seed Packets Galore
My fellow gardening friend offered some great advice:
- Start everything from seed. Per her suggestion, we went with local seeds native to Colorado that have a faster growing rate.
To manage all the leftover seeds and packets –
- Organize the seed packets in a 3-ring binder
- Place the seed packets in clear page protectors with pockets in the order they were placed in the garden
- Now we can easily write notes of what works and doesn’t work.
Since we haven’t yet started an outdoor compost system, we started indoors:
- Improvise and use what you have on hand. We started composting using several jumbo size canning jars.
- Collect all leftover food scraps, banana peels and coffee grinds and add them to the jar along with some water and soil. Be sure to shake and stir it at least once a week and expose it to air.
- In a month or so, we hope to begin adding it to the garden.
Happiness is in the quiet, ordinary things
We began sowing the majority of the seeds on Sunday, May 3rd and this week we saw our first signs of life.
So far out of the 54 squares, we have 14 squares that have sprouts which is just about on track with the emerge rates listed on the seed packets:
- 3 varieties of Microgreens
So stinkin’ cute to see all the little greens popping up! Just look at the red on the base of the stem – pure beauty!
The Little Things
Hope you had fun seeing a tidbit of the progress.
Who knows how it will even go but seeing the first set of sprouts pop up was such a simple life-giving joy.
I swear it’s the little things in life that make all the difference in diving into joy. It’s never the big stuff that society would make you believe. It’s in the tiniest of details and in the simplest of things that will bring you back to life.
Stay tuned for Stage 2 when “we” build a cover to protect everything from our summer hail storms, high winds and random wildlife passing through.
Missing you all. Hope everyone is staying safe and well.