After building boxes, installing beds, and making soil we finally got to plant the square foot plan I created. As with all plans, adjustments were made to better accommodate the plants I had and the irrigation I convinced my husband Mike to create.
Originally Mike envisioned spray heads at each corner of the beds. I thought this might be overkill and suggested putting in drip hoses that would spiral around the planters. This works well when you have the beds covered with mulch. In Colorado, you have to be as conscious as possible with water usage, and using spray heads in our dry climate can mean a water loss of up to 50% through evaporation to the air or at the soil level before the plant can take it up.
Mike used 1/2″ pipe for drip systems with elbows and tee’s to take a single line from our sprinkler system to all beds. He took a drip hose we had that was 1/2″ diameter and attached it the 1/2″ pipe using screw clamps. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any new drip hose 1/2″ wide at Lowes or Home Depot. So when these lines go I don’t know what we’ll use.
(To See Larger View, click on the Image)
The original plan called for every inch to be filled with plants. Not knowing how well my drip line will cover the plants I have left some areas empty, and may fill those later as I get more comfortable with the plan.
Below are the plantings in the plan and pictures of the plantings themselves. We got most of the plants in on Sunday May 27, and in only 5 days we have seedlings!
The western most bed gets sun in the morning and is the first to get the afternoon sun. I have 3 squash plants and two peppers (I don’t think I have the correct ones labelled, actually one is a habanero, and the other is most likely a poblano. There are also some onions and an asparagus that has been barely surviving the last two years.
One of the things I learned reading about square foot gardening is companion planting. To help keep squash bugs away I have also planted two nasturtium. The great thing is Summer Blooms carries many of companion plants with their great variety of veges.
The center bed contains tomatos, peppers and the real fun of square foot gardening, root vegetables like carrots and radishes. You can put many in one square foot. These will be fun to watch!
You can see the radishes on the left, most have survived except the very corner seed that didn’t get enough water. One Brandywine tomato was grown from seed and I purchased the Celebrity tomato.
Seems strange to put a sunflower in the shadiest bed of the garden, but other plants took precedence. In this bed I’ve planted some of the vegetables that should have been planted earlier in the season. Spinach and lettuce are cold season crops who will wilt under the hot Colorado July sun. So planting them in a more shaded bed I’m hoping they will do a little better. They have been put into a square so if more shading is needed I can manage them all. Same with critter control.
In the top left are jalapenos that will get a little more sun in the am so hoping these will get enough sun to produce the heat we like! For hot peppers, the more the sun, the more the heat. On the right the beets seedlings are already making their way up. They are the prettiest shade of red.
I will give periodic updates to show how the beds are doing.