Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chapter 62...My Square Foot Garden

Off Grid...Chapter 62

Woo Hoo. I am finally doing my first veggie garden. I am doing the Square Foot Garden method in hopes of learning a little about gardening and not making it too much work for me to handle. My DH helped me build the box for my 1st 4x4 box. We used leftover pressure treated wood that was a 2x6 board. DH cut it down to 4 4foot sections and then we screwed it all together to make a box.

Here is the box with the weed cloth in place.

While I made the soil mix which is 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 coarse vermiculite, and 1/3 compost my DH installed 2 7 foot pieces of rebar and a 4 foot piece of rebar to connect the poles. Then he painted them green.

Next I filled the box with the mix. We then used leftover electric fence wire for the grids and also for the vine veggies. We screw these down to the wood. Here is my first box. I would like to have at least 1 more.

I was short by a little compost to fill my box so I will have to get some more. Now the fun part. I get to go to the nursery and pick out plants and seeds. I talked to anyone who would talk to me and I asked tons of questions.
I know I bought too much but I am so excited.

I bought 4 kinds of Green Bean seeds- Blue Lake Pole, Kentucky Wonder Pole, Kentucky Dreamer Bush, and Mountain Bush.

I bought 2 kinds of Cucumber seeds- Long Green Cuke, Boston Pickling, and 1 kind of Cucumber plant- Spacemaster Cucumber.

I bought 4 varieties of Tomato Plants- Burpee Big Boy, Tomato Juliet, Amish Paste, and a Patio Tomato.

I bought 3 kinds of Pepper Plants- Red Sweet, Orange Bell, and Green Pepper.

I also bought a Summer Squash, Basil, Lemon Balm, ans Stevia.

I know I went a little crazy but I wanted to try a variety to see what works and what doesn't. I will be keeping a journal so I know what to modify for next year.

Back to the garden. I picked up another bag of Mushroom compost so I mixed a 5 gallon bucket of the compost, a 5 gallon bucket of the vermiculite, and a 5 gallon bucket of the peat moss. Here I am making my mix to add to the garden.

Just a FYI that I read. If you want to do a smaller mix. For 1 4x4 garden box you can use 4 5 gallon buckets of "each" of the 3 ingredients for a total of 12 5 gallon buckets.

Then I planted my Green Bean vines, 4 climbing Cucumber plants, 4 Patio Cukes, and 2 kinds of the Bush Beans. I will plant Bush Beans every 2 weeks for a consecutive harvest(I hope, lol). I used thick craft sticks and a black magic marker to mark my plants.

My first plants are in.

I may have to add more string to the rebar to hold the vines up but I can add that anytime. Next week I hope to plant some tomatoes and peppers. I also need another box, you know for all the extra veggies I got, lol.

I just wanted to share my process for anyone interested. I am doing this mostly by the book so if you can make any suggestions please do. Have a great day.



  1. Hmmm ... I'm not a farmer by any stretch of the imagination but if I had to guess I would say you have enough stuff to fill 10 of those boxes. Maybe not ... but I'll be reading on with interest to see how your garden grows. :)

    1. My garden grows each year and I always have too many plants, lol.

  2. What is a DH? Oh and if you plan to eat those veggies I wouldn't use pressure treated lumber near food. Most have arsenic or worse!

    1. DH is darling husband.

      You are right about the potential poison in the wood. Unfortunately or fortunately:) it mustn't have had much because my boards are now rotting. I have a different solution starting next year for my garden.

  3. I am amazed. First at the whole process of the building, living off the grid, and all the work you two do! Secondly, here it is 5 years later and I came across your blog because I doing research. My husband and I have been talking about(for a few years) to do basically what you and Mike have already done. All the way down to the square foot garden(I ran across that a few weeks ago). We are Florida (born and raised) people trying to get out of the grind and back to basics. I wish he was as handy as Mike though. I am the project person/thinker/planner and he is the brute muscle.

    I am really enjoying your stories and learning a lot. I am very thankful that you decided to share your stories. Even the stuff that went wrong or didn't work out "as planned". I have not done anything for the past 2 days because I am into this :)

    1. Thank you for writing in. After 6 years we are almost where Mike wants to be, lol. Mike now wants to write a book about "the right way to do it" after all of our experiences.

      If you ever have any questions just let me know:)