Thursday, April 8, 2010

Frugal Gardening: Whatcha Plantin'?

I finalized what we are going to be planting.  Our last frost date was estimated to be April 2, so we decided to plant on April 4. 

Remember my grand plans of raised beds with 6x6 cedar boards and the lasagna gardening technique?  Well that all went out the window after I read the Square Foot Gardening Book.  Since my boxes were too big (Mel recommends 4x4 so you can reach in on all sides), I pulled the boxes up and my husband took them apart so we can start over in the Fall.

My dad purchased a dump truck load of composted cow manure, "black gold" was how the ad ran in the Farmer's Market Bulletin.  He brought over some for me.  He also has a great tiller and brought it over and tilled all my layers under and added the cow compost and the horse compost that my husband picked up a few weeks ago.  My dad loves his tiller and doesn't like to loan it out.  I'm glad I'm his daughter!

I'm guessing this area is about 12' by 6'.  He tilled another plot right next to this one.  But a nest of carpenter ants invaded it while the raised bed was there so now we have to take care of them.  In the mean time, I planted my (15) tomato seedlings, (64) carrots, (12) green beans, zinnias, marigolds and nasturtiums and seedling cilantro plants.  I'll plant some more green beans next week and again the week after for successive plantings.  Mel suggests using electrical conduit and nylon to create a netting trellis for any climbing vegetables.  He suggests 5-6' tall and the width of the bed.  He suggests sinking rebar into the ground and leaving about 12" above ground.  Then place the conduit over the rebar to hold it in place.  Isn't that so smart!?!

Well I went down to the little hardware store in our little town (which also sells paper products like cake takers and aluminum foil pans...go figure...) and purchased 3 - 10' lengths for $3.00 each.  I was so happy.  My husband took them over to my dad's house to cut them into 5' lengths and then I was going to head over to Lowe's or Home Depot to get 90 degree elbows.  Well, Kevin calls me from my dad's house to let me know these are the WRONG kind of conduit.  It doesn't have the threads on the ends to screw the elbows onto...oh well...story of my life!  So now I'm going to get some PVC pipe and try that.  I'll drill holes into the cross piece and drop twine down so the green beans can climb up (which happens to be what my dad suggested I do before).

The baby pools are 4' in diameter and we're going to install two 2' wide trellis' in each pool using the same technique as the larger one above for the early peas and cucumbers.  In the first one we're going to plant (4) eggplants (from plants), (14) peas, (4) butternut squash. 

In the other pool, we're going to plant (4) pepper plants (two jalapenos, two bell peppers),  (6) seedless cucumbers, (6) pickling cucumbers, (4) watermelon.

Since the watermelon and butternut squash are not going to be on trellis', they are going to be trailing out of the pool onto the ground.  I've placed thick newspaper sections all around the pools and layered straw over top to give them a cushion-y place to grow.  I hope they love their new home!

Last but not least, I have a partial sunny garden space beside the porch.  The ground stays really cool and I've planted lettuces here.  I've already planted a Mesclun mix, (18) spinach (2 varieties), (8) Simpson's Lettuce and (8) Swiss chard.  And guess what? Everything has started sprouting!  How exciting is that!!!

Visit Good Life Eats for Grow Cook Eat. And Frugal Friday at Life as Mom. And $5 Dollar Dinners.

Do you have your garden planned out yet?  Whatcha plantin'?


April said...

I have tomato seedlings growing in my kitchen, and planted my potatoes on Good Friday. I can't plant any of my other veggies yet, we're still getting some frost. Hopefully I'll have every thing planted by the end of this month. Good luck with your garden!

Susie said...

Looking good! With my cold and the painting and the vacation, I am so far behind!

Brandi @ Frugal Farmhouse said...

I wrote on my garden beginning on saturday. I love to hear about all the great gardens beginning in blogland! I can't wait to see your garden growing!!

Mommarock said...

The PVC frame sounds nice. They make trellis netting for things to climb in a perfect size for your gardens. Holes are big enough so you can get your hands and the vegetables out of your garden. It is a nylon type I believe so you don't have to worry about it wearing out. You can take it down at the end of the year, and put it back up next year.

Jenna @ Newlyweds said...

Sounds like you've got a great garden started, love your mini pool technique. Can't wait to see how everything is growing.

Vicki said...

Wow! You're doing a lot. It's our first year at gardening and I feel like we're a little ambitious but I know it's a trail and error process. Check out our garden over at


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