So Lala got a jones to square foot garden. It’s a phrase I’ve heard all my life — my father being one of the first on the bandwagon back in the DAY. So we read the website and got the book (get the new one, not the old one) and talked about it. She had a very good point. We have a nice-sized front yard and a better than nice-sized backyard, and to the right of the back deck, we have a HELL of a lot of concrete. Someday we’d like to take that all out. That day, however, is not today, and we don’t know when it will be, so why not garden on top of the concrete?
Of course, she came up with this solution in the fall, so we waited, and then I woke up yesterday with the need to DO IT ALL RIGHT NOW as I am wont to do.
And I gotta tell you, it was easy. Three and a half hours, from beginning to end, and that includes an hour and half of shopping at the hardware store and the Big Longs (o, how I love thee, biggest Longs in America). At home I finished the construction, soil mixing, and planting in two hours.
Read his site for answers (I certainly don’t have them) but here’s basically what I did:
Had the lumber store cut 2 eight foot 1X6s in half, so I had four four-foot pieces. I also bought deck nails, framing nails, and wooden lathes (six four-foot lengths) for the grid (essential in the Square Foot Bible – do NOT leave off the grid).
I used my drill (and I remembered to buy a bit for the deck nails, hooray!) to assemble the lumber (I am so butch).
The mixing of the perfect soil is the hard part. The website and book explain it, but basically, you’re making an even mixture of compost, peat moss, and vermiculite. That last is hard to find in the right quantities (I bought eight bags of it) and it is IMPOSSIBLE to remember its name. I kept thinking vermicelli. Verisimilitude. Vermiculite would NOT stick in my head.
So you dump eight cubic feet, total, onto a huge tarp (and you should really wear the mask — I didn’t think that would be so necessary, but that stuff is dusty and stinky) and then you drag the short end of the tarp to the other short end, rolling that heavy, heavy mass back and forth inside the tarp until it’s all mixed up. Above, you can see it’s almost mixed. That was hard work.
Then you add it to the box! That’s hard, but fun. I dragged the tarp over, tucked the end over into the box, and rolled all the soil in. I had just the right amount, a little bit left over.
I was happy about that.
Then you add the grid, which just took nailing (and my sheep measuring tape), and was very fun to do.
Then I got out my seeds and decided what I wanted to go where. The goal is to have no adjoining boxes have the same plant. I think I put thirteen different things in the sixteen boxes, and I drew myself a map (thank god, because I would have forgotten by now). I know I put in spinach, edamame, several kinds of bush beans, bush cucumber, some habanero, basil, two kinds of beets, ummmm. I can’t remember the rest. But I know at least some will come up. I hope.
Isn’t that the coolest?
This is now what it looks like from the deck:
And today I’m home sick from work, so I can sit out there and look at it. It rained this morning, and that can only help, too.
I’m fighting a migraine that knocked me out last night and part of this morning — any good remedies? I’m desperate. Right now I feel a little better, but it’s as if there’s a big gorilla next to me, and he has a vice-grip on the base of my neck, and if I get out of line, he’ll hit me again. The migraines are hormonal, but I can’t go on the pill, and I react really badly to even plant-based progesterone products. I’ve been doing acupuncture, which helped, but not totally. I’ve given up coffee completely. Fi0ricet works on the pain, but I’m pretty useless when on it. The Relpax/Imitrex/Maxalt triptan family of drugs don’t do a thing. Anything else you can recommend? Thanks, man.
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