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Friday, May 29, 2009

Just ordered popping corn seed

I had my young pre-teen son up the garden yesterday and was telling him about the corn that I've planted so far (Mandan, Sweet Yellow).

He had the great idea of planting Popping Corn!

So I just ordered some Japanese Popcorn seed from Gurney's. Hope it doesn't take too long to get here!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ran out of day...

Ran out of day...

I had thought that I'd be able to spend the whole day working on my SFG... but ended up taking my pre-teen to the dentist for a rescheduled appointment...

But! I did get another 4x4 filled with Mel's Mix... and my future carrot 4x4 (8" deep) is almost filled! As you know... that is a huge accomplishment!

You should see me! I'm so covered in grime... but loving it! Off to the bath!

wooohooo... got the corn planted!

The other day I planted Mandan corn... today I got some sweet corn planted!

Found my camera... battery's dead though.

Also put some flowers in hanging baskets... I know... I need to post some pics.

More later!!!

Today, mix... mix... Mel's Mix

With the help of my teenage son, my 4x8 boxes are all built and leveled off!

Today I'm off to the garden to mix mix mix... lots of Mel's Mix to fill boxes!

I mix one shovel full of each Vermiculite, Peat, & Compost into one of the red 18 gallon buckets... then fill my SFG bed... wet it down... and mix up another batch until it's all filled.

I have about 30 Romas that need to get planted. And need to get carrots planted as well!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Harvesting, Preserving & Eating what we've grown

I have a growing collection of blogs that I really enjoy reading! Mostly they're about gardening!

Over on Judy's blog, she just posted some great recipes and tips on preserving veggies from the garden.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Planted Mandan Corn

Inspired by Steve, the midnight gardener, I worked out in the garden tonight till about 11pm. What a beautiful night!

I mixed up enough Mel's Mix to fill 2 4x4 boxes... I'd say by moon light... but couldn't see the moon in the star filled sky... I dragged out one of our construction lights and worked and worked (loving it of course...)!

On a recent trip to the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT, I purchased some heirloom Mandan corn seed at the gift shop. Not knowing any about it... including whether it was just ornamental or edible... I decided to do some research... more info on this link.
So... after learning that it was a staple of the Mandan Indians... I planted a whole 4x4 bed with it!!! Look at those beautiful colors!

I'll plant another 4x4 with sweet yellow corn... maybe tomorrow... I've got the box all filled with Mel's Mix!!

Still to get planted... CARROTS...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My SFG grows...

I was thinking today how much I'm enjoying all the time that I've spent creating my very first SFG. Must be the creative aspect of it all!

Isn't the process of planting seedlings... then transplanting... or directly planting seeds into the SFG... AMAZING? I love watching those tender plants grow!!!!

I decided to put my SFG in my front yard of our new (still in the finishing stages) home. And it's really taking shape! So far... I have 6 4x4 boxes filled and 1 4x8 filled!

In front of the cottonwood trees on the East/South side, I've placed a 2x2 bed with a Giant Pumpkin plant. I hope to spread the vine around the tree.

I have 3 other Giant Pumpkins to plant, each in their own 2x2 box. I thought that it would be so much fun to see 400-500 pound pumpkins growing across the front of our property... So now I have to decide where they will be placed.

Planned for this week

Build it/Mix it/Fill it
-build 3 more 4x8 boxes **update** DONE 5/25!
-build 3 more 2x2 boxes **update** DONE 5/25!
-build flower beds???
-mix... mix... mix... more of Mel's Mix
-fill remaining boxes
-build trellises

-giant pumpkin plants
-black eyed susans
-daisy plants

I hope to get the rest of my garden planted this week! I'm under the gun to get all this done because the 1st week in June I have to begin tiling bathrooms in our new home!

Planted some more...

I planted in the morning...
3 more Roma
some basil
1 Giant Pumpkin plant in it's very own 2x2 bed

After supper I watered my beds and covered my precious tomato plants.

As I walked around my 7 beds, I couldn't believe how much my onions, peas, & green beans had come up since the morning!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Didn't get to spend much time in my garden today... Had too many errands to do with hubby.

Today's Sprout Report...
-Bush beans are beginning to poke up!
-A few potatoes are up
-Wando Peas are poking thru

Vining Tomatoes
My vining tomatoes got wind burn or frost bite the other night. They look pretty sad, but I think that they'll make it thru!

Put to bed for the night
My 4x4 beds that have tomatoes in them are all covered up for the night. I made the dome covers from Mel's book.

Aaron's Gigantic Pumpkin Bed
My son Aaron (age 11) and I made a small 2x2 bed out of scrap lumber and got it all filled with Mel's Mix. The bed is going in front of some trees, don't worry it'll still get lots of sun! Will be making a trellis for this box... the mosquitoes chased us home. In Aaron's sage wisdom, he said to me... "That's what tomorrow's for..."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lady Bugs everywhere!

I was so surprised today while working my garden to see Lady Bugs... everywhere!

Has anyone used Praying Mantis to help with bugs?

The master gardeners were selling some Praying Mantis pods a few weeks ago, wish that I bought some! Just as a precaution... no bad bugs so far.... just lots & lots of Lady Bugs. Will post a pic tomorrow.

I'm up to 5 4x4 boxes, 1 4x8 box

Finished mixing the enought Mel's Mix for my 4x8 box. I plan to plant Romas in my new 4x8 box.

Some of my plant go a little frost bite last night... sigh... I didn't think that it got that cold! So today, my sweet husband pounded 24" rebar into the corners of 2 of my 4x4 boxes (the one with the tomatoes), I then put my 1/2" PVC dome thingies on covered with clear plastic.

I had to use rebar because of the strong winds we get here in Wyoming. Will post a pic tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Do you shop at True Value Hardware?

Our True Value flyer gave the url for a printable coupon... which is awesome... cause I need some stuff!

A new 4x8 box

I started mixing Mel's Mix for my 4x8 box. Almost done! Boy does it take a lot of mix!

Decided to drop by the greenhouse. Picked up some basil, flowers, pepper plants, and cabbage.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I planted some tomatoes today!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day here... the perfect day for gardening!

I'm so excited to report that I've planted some of my tomato plants!

I'm getting a new 4x8 bed ready for more Romas. I have it about 1/2 way filled with Mel's Mix.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Planting Onions & Yukon Gold Potatoes today...

Hi Gardening friends!

It's so much fun connecting with you! I really enjoy reading your blogs... and seeing how your garden is going.

I'm taking a quick lunch break... thought I'd post a quick entry...

Today so far I've planted almost a whole 4x4 box of onions and a whole 4x4 box of Yukon Gold potatoes.

I'm up to 5 boxes!

Yesterday I filled 2 more boxes with Mel's Mix!

Box 4 is going to be planted with Yukon Gold potatoes... today I hope!
Box 5 is partially planted with onions. I got 5 squares filled, then I ran out of those little onion bulbs. I'm heading to the co-op to get some more today.

Made a run to Lowes last night (it's a 180 mile trip to our nearest Lowes/Home Depot) and got the 1/2 " galvanized steel tubing to create 4 trellises! No trellis netting to be found... so I guess that I'll have to order some in.

Happy Saturday! Happy Gardening!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Garden for Canning or Food Storage

Thought that I write a post about using my SFG to produce bunches of produce for canning... or food storage!

Do you have a copy of Mel's first edition published in 1981? There's a lot of good stuff in there! This older version is a great companion to Mel's new book!

Here's an idea of what to do if you want to have veggies for food storage (See page 31 of Mel's 1981 SFG book)

Crop .............# of Plants...Harvest...Spacing
Bush Beans......144............35#............4"
Corn (tall, late)...16.............24 ears.....12"
Corn (short, early).25.........25 ears.......9"

I really want to fill up my food storage shelves with beautiful jars of yummy veggies from my garden!

So I'm planting whole 4x4 boxes of:
-wando peas (this variety doesn't mind the heat)
-bush beans
-onions (for the root cellar)
-potatoes (for the root cellar)

I've got 40 Roma tomato plants growing inside... started them mid April.... before I totally understood spacial requirements of determinate tomatoes. Each Roma will need a 3x3 section. So... I plan to build some long beds for these guys. (Oh my... so much TO DO!!! FUN!!!)

Happy Gardening friends... please DO leave your comments! I so enjoy reading them!

Wind again... I tried Mel's dome cover

I can't believe this wind! I had to cover up my 4 boxes again tonight.

I tried making the dome covers that Mel talks about in his new book(page 71). I bought some 10' 1/2" PVC tubing. Made a dome. Connected it at the top with a plastic thingy. I even had the great idea to make clips to use to attach the plastic sheeting!

We're at the plumbing stage in building our new home. So, I grabbed a small piece of pex tubing and cut some small pieces then cut them open with tin snips... this allowed me to create a "C" clip to go onto the 1/2" PVC.

Then I went to attach the plastic sheeting while the wind was whirling around me. Guess what? The whole dome thingy took off like a kite.

I'm thinking about drilling holes in the PVC at the base, then screwing the PVC to the box... I'm wondering if that will make it strong enough to stand up to this Wyoming wind????

I may even try the covered wagon style of cover (see page 76 in Mel's new book). But I think that the dome structure is the stronger structure... what are your thoughts?

Filled box 4 with Mel's Mix

I filled box 4 (8" deep) with Mel's Mix this afternoon. Will be planting Yukon Golds and some Red potatoes in this box maybe tomorrow!

Also picked up 6 more bales of peat and 14 1cu' bags of compost. I'm so grateful for my teenage son who helped me unload!!!

So far I have planted in my 4x4 "canning" boxes:
-box 2, Wando Peas
-box 3, Bush Green Beans

Spring Crop in box 1:
Early Peas
Cukes in the north 3 squares

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lovely day... got more planting done

You'd never know it was stormy yesterday! It was a perfect sunny day today.

I refilled my wind damaged boxes. The wind took a significant amount of Mel's Mix out of several squares... and about an inch or so off the top off each of my 3 boxes.

My goal this year is to can: peas, green beans, corn, tomato sauce.

Whole 4x4 box...
So today I replanted some of my Wando Peas that were blown away.
Planted a whole 4x4 box with bush beans.

In my box that's mostly spring crops (lettuce, spinach, arugula), I planted Cukes on the north side where my trellis will go (still need to get supplies for that!).

Because of the extreme winds that come by not so often... and the hail storm that usually comes late May... I'm going to make dome tops for protection over the next few weeks. Until then, I have covered my 3 planted boxes... just because...

Also, EG, I took your advice and watered my beds really really good today. Thanks. I'm sure that I wouldn't have lost as much soil if I had given it more water.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wind blown...

A giant wind announced itself unexpectedly with swiftly moving dark clouds... gosh, I thought it was going to blow me away!

Sadly, I had just planted a whole 4x4 bed with Wando Peas (bush variety). At least one of my squares a good amount of soil... and the pea seed... blown away.

I was going to plant my bush beans today... well... I'll wait a bit.
Pryor Mountains in the background.
I went back to check my precious 3 4x4 beds filled with precious Mel's Mix... and each bed had lost a lot of soil! So, I covered 2 beds with clear plastic and the last one with a tarp (ran out of plastic). I feel better now.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Filling the 3rd 4x4 box!

Wooo hoo!!! I'll have 3 boxes filled with Mel's Mix shortly... complete with grids and ready to plant! Big Step for me!!!

In order to make sure that I have my proportions correct... I'm mixing it by the shovel full.

Grids... the makings of Square Foot Gardening

It's snowing. Wonderful to watch the dry beige land of the cold months turn green as the canal water becomes available... and we receive spring moisture!

Grids... the makings of a Square Foot Garden
Yesterday I looked at lathe at the lumber yard. The lathe is about $14.00/bundle, I think of 14-4' pieces. Need to start making grids.

I decided that I would try using string this year... as I've made a sizable investment in Mel's Mix.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Off to the co-op!

Got to get more Peat & Vermiculite...

On my mind...
Need to buy stuff for trellises
Need to build long beds for my tomatoes
I want to plant!!!!

5/8/09 update..
Got 15 bags of Vermiculite. The filled the back of my pickup. I'll have to wait on getting more peat.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Got 1 4x4 bed filled with Mel's Mix!


I covered the bottom of 3 of my 4x4 beds with landscape fabric... got them situated just so... then filled 1 box with Mel's Mix!

I considered this a big step!!!! Will post pics tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Repotted my Romas... all 40 of them...

I started out by seeding all my Romas in those little peat cups that are all together... 10 per tray on 4/15.

By 5/1 they were about 3 inches tall and spindly...

So on 5/1, I transplanted all 40 of them into 4" peat pots. They are sooo much happier now!

Monday, May 4, 2009

My friend, AB, just put her SFG box together!

I'm so excited!!! My friend, AB, just put together a 4x4 SFG!!!!

AB has been my gardening mentor since I moved here from MA... I so excited to be able to share ideas...

It'll be fun to watch our gardens grow!

She's ahead of me... she has soil in her box already... I hope to fill at least one of my boxes this week!

Bought 40cu' of compost today...

Went to the Big Horn Co-op in Powell today. You see... I'm on a quest...

Got to get all my stuff for my soil mixture (aka... Mel's Mix).

Now... to get my teenage son to unload the pickup of 1600#s of compost! Got 40 bags of the stuff!

Still need to get...
-More Compost
-More Peat
-Tons of Vermiculite

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rain Barrels... Make Your Own!

I know that we don't get very much moisture here in the high desert of Wyoming... but I still want a rain barrel to collect what we DO GET!

Trash Can Rain Barrel
The really cheap way to make your own barrel: Trash Can Rain Barrel
Gravity Gardener shares step by step instructions on how the make a Rain Barrel using a trash can for $10! Great pics! Here's Gravity Gardener's instructions.

I'm inspired... I WANT ONE for my square foot garden!!!!!

Found these instructions while googling...
Directions on how to make your own Rain Barrel: DIY Rain Barrel

Just came across EG's SFG blog. He has this great post with lots of pics on how to build your own Rain Barrel!!! So appreciate his post!!!

A fellow SFGer from the Square Foot Gardening forum (JPJ52) suggested using this set of directions.


Where to get a used plastic barrel locally:
For anyone in Bighorn & Park counties of Wyoming... this is where I got my barrels:
The Pepsi company has large barrels that are available for $10.00 You have to go on a waiting list for them. To get on the list, call Fremont Beverages at 754-7295. They must be picked up in Powell. They are suitable for food storage.