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Adventures in Gardening: Planting!

04/18/2011

After lots of planning and sweating, my garden is finally planted! I spent many hours working on it last week, including 5 hours spent last Sunday out there with my husband laying everything out and planting the first row. (I finished the rest of the rows later that week.) That’s why the posting here on the blog was almost nonexistent last week. I was too busy to do anything else except the gardening and my normal mommy/homemaker duties! Sometimes it takes a lot of time to be crunchy. :)

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My faithful helper!

The plan:

Here’s what I planned out on GrowVeg.com. Most of it was actually my friend Becky’s idea. She stopped by at the beginning of this month and sketched out a quick plan for me.

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Click on the picture if you'd like to see a bigger version.

If you want details, here are a few:

Gardening method used: Wide Row Gardening  also called Intensive Planting. (I used 4 foot wide rows.) I also took into account companion plants when I planned everything out.

Total gardening space (not including the walking paths) – 560 square feet

Plants: 16 tomato plants, 26 basil plants, 12 bell pepper plants, 3 golden squash, 3 zucchini, 4 eggplant, 2 each of: watermelon, butternut squash, sweet passion melon, and North GA Candy Roaster winter squash. LOTS of borage and marigolds (both are natural pest deterrents.) There are lots of pole beans, and even more bush beans. There are also lots of other herbs planted throughout the garden as well. I used this website to decide how many of each item to grow. (Incidentally, I was planning for 9 people.)

Laying out the Garden

We used bamboo poles to lay out the different rows. I have trouble visualizing things, so it really helped me to be able to see the rows.

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Getting the Ground Ready

After we laid out the rows so we knew where we could and couldn’t walk, we prepped the ground. It had already been tilled, so the soil was loose. We still needed to work on a few low places where the tiller hadn’t worked as well. Unfortunately we discovered that most of the first row must’ve been a low spot, because we weeded it for a LONG time. The rest of the rows were great, though. I also added some natural fertilizer—bone meal and blood meal—before we planted.

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Spreading the bone meal

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Ready to Plant

After all the rows were prepped, we started planting. The most valuable tool we had during this process, besides the plan I printed out from Grow Veg, was a tape measure. We used a tape measure to measure between the plants and make sure we were laying out everything just like I had planned it. Another valuable tool would’ve been sunscreen. I stupidly did not put any on and gor a very bad sunburn. My lesson has been learned. I had forgotten how uncomfortable a sunburn is.

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Yes, I was filthy after all that work in the garden. I haven't been that dirty in a long time!

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Watering

After we got everything planted, I watered the little seeds. We’ve since set up a sprinkler in the middle of the garden that will water the whole garden without me having to stand out there.

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A Tip for those of you who live below the Gnat Line – You’ll notice my “interesting” hair style. I put my hair up on my neck to keep cool, but left the hair down around my ears so that way the gnats wouldn’t be buzzing around them and bothering me. Sigh. I guess I really am living in the South.

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The final picture from Sunday. One final tip: I put metal poles at the end of my rows so that way I could keep the garden hose from getting dragged over my plants when I was watering. It works like a charm. It doesn’t show in the picture above, but I’ve since added some fencing wire in between the poles to keep the kids out of my rows! Seems they didn’t really understand the whole concept of staying on the walking path.

I’m so excited to have everything planted!! I planted the garden a week ago now and I’ve already got beans, squash, and lots of herbs coming up. I get ridiculously excited every time I discover a new seedling. I can’t wait to see how all this turns out! I’m hoping to have enough of a harvest this summer to feed my family and some extended family, as well as having a little leftover to giveaway to people at my church.

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7 Comments
  1. Becky B permalink
    04/18/2011 5:15 pm

    I’m SO excited for you Kate, this looks GREAT!!!

    It’s so cool to see it all come together. I’m glad to hear of things sprouting as well, discovering the sprouts is a delightful experience :)

    BTW – I just found out that if you sprinkle grits by your ant hills, they will eat them and blow up. LOL, I tried it today… I’m hoping it’s that simple to get rid of them. I have two bites on my toes and they are driving me batty, I can’t believe how well Callum did with his.

    • Tara permalink
      04/18/2011 10:33 pm

      Becky..does the ant thing work indoors??!?! They invade my house every spring and I sort of have luck with cinnamon and peppermint and just smashing them like crazy. I refuse to use scary chemicals around my kids so I love any new non-toxic ideas.

      Katie…I love your garden! I’m starting a little garden this year, too…a 3′ x 5′ “square foot garden”. You inspired me to just go ahead and try.

      And you are a pretty gardener, too! I like your hat.

      • Karie permalink
        04/19/2011 8:11 am

        The only thing that worked with my indoor ants was borax paste. Course it is a bit on the scary chemical side when it comes to kids but… I made a thick paste (with water) and smeared it around the edge of the window where they were coming in. The paste dries hard and looks a bit like window caulking and we haven’t had an ant since.

        • Kate permalink*
          04/19/2011 9:05 am

          Did you put sugar in it too? I’ve heard to mix sugar in with the borax to entice the ants to partake of the concoction.

          As far as leaving stuff out like that, I’m always worried the dog will get into it. I usually have a pretty good handle on where the kids are and they are getting old enough that I can explain to them that its poisonous, etc, and they’ll leave it alone. The dog, on the other hand, is kind of crazy anyway, and I don’t want him to die from eating ant bait.
          I buy those little plastic ant traps–the ants can get in, but the dogs and the kids can’t. If I find a trail of ants, I pop one of those baits right in the middle of where they are and then just wait. They’ll swarm it, and then slowly start to die. I’m not above spraying them with crazy chemicals if they are out in my back porch.

  2. gracie permalink
    04/18/2011 6:54 pm

    oh kate…you are awesome! what a start to gardening! you rock…and i can’t wait to see the pics as it is all growing! love ya…

  3. 04/18/2011 10:37 pm

    Oh I am so jealous! We haven’t gotten our garden planted yet and I am oh so ready. Just need the weather to cooperate with us!

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  1. Adventures in Gardening: Trouble in Gardening Paradise « Kinda Crunchy Kate

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