Saturday, February 28, 2009

square foot gardening: in the planning stages

Garden season, as declared before, is open! And I am taking that to heart. This means that today, my efforts at avoiding work and cleaning have included figuring out the materials for my new square-foot vegetable bed, and realizing that I should probably start working on that soon-ish so that it's ready to plant in April with the early-season crops.

My dilemma right now is that if I want to go the whole way, I should probably follow Mr. Bartholomew's recipe for his soil mix ("Mel's Mix"), which is three parts peat, three parts vermiculite, and three parts compost.

To fill a space that is going to be roughly 1812 L, that is not going to be cheap. I mean, I have some compost here. And I can get it free from the landfill (although not until after April, either, which throws a wrench in my early-planting plans). But I don't have peat or vermiculite, and that stuff gets expensive when you start looking at buying roughly 12-14 30L bags of the stuff. I do have some soil that is composted sod, from when I started digging the veggie beds. What I am thinking is that I will use that first, then make the rest of the bed peat and vermiculite and our compost, as much as possible. It won't be Mr. Bartholomew's perfect mix, but it will be pretty darn nice soil.

In other news, I did plant shallots today. 24 of them. For transplant into that new bed, once the soil "can be worked in the spring."

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