Today I met with our neighbor Shiloh and her young daughter to plan our garden. Shiloh brought an armful of seed packets and I printed out a grid of our garden. Together we made a list of everything we wanted to plant.
We decided to try the block gardening method (also known as compact or square-foot gardening). Growing up, we always planted in rows. After doing some research, though, it looks like block (or compact) gardening sounds like the best option for maximizing a small garden space so we’re going to give that a try. We divided our (approximately) 10′x10′ garden into four 4′x4′ plots with walkways between them and put different vegetables in each square foot of garden space, depending on how much space that type of vegetable takes. We planned tomatoes, okra, and zinnias for the north/south sides of the gardens so they won’t shade the rest of the plants and gave the zucchini and sweet potatoes lots of room to spread out. We’ll probably add some pots of herbs, too, that can be moved around.
As of right now, our list of things to plant includes:
- Peppers (both sweet and hot)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Bush Beans
The only things we couldn’t fit were sunflowers and butternut squash. I may still see if I can find a creative way to plant the butternut squash. In late summer we should be able to replace some of the earlier plants with some more cool weather plants (we missed the planting window for some of the spring crops).
Shiloh has some seeds already (include some that she’s started inside). Thursday the Kansas City Community Gardens starts selling the warm weather plants, so I plan on going to pick up some of those, plus whatever other seeds we need (I get ten free packets). Shiloh is going to see if her friend will go pick up a truckload of compost for us from Missouri Organic, too. We may even be able to start planting a few things tomorrow.
This garden is really happening!