Friday, April 12, 2013

Gardening 2.0

Last year, I planted a tiny garden, and was so happy with the results!  I did no research, I just planted a few things and was endlessly proud of every harvested cucumber and tomato.  This year, we're doing a major overhaul of our yard, and I'm putting in raised beds.
My yard right before we took out all that brush. This way you'll be super impressed when I post "after" pictures.
I know it's a little late to be starting, but that's how it is.  You can see I have a bit of work to do!  I've been doing my homework this time, and I have found quite a cheap way to build the beds.  I'll post a tutorial if it works out. I will be loosely following square foot gardening.

I'm buying seeds at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

I also found this awesome (and free!) website to help plan my garden.  I am very excited.  You will definitely be seeing the progress.
One thing I haven't found is a really great place online that lists what plants grow the best near me in the DC area.  Anyone have a recommendation?

I did find that a local university gives free gardening classes throughout the year; I'll definitely be taking advantage of some of those!

What's your favorite seed catalogue?  What other online gardening resources do you recommend? I'm just getting started, and I take all the help I can get!


  1. I am super excited to see after pictures!! Lawn renovations are huge work. You guys are amazing!

    Can you give us some details about the fence you're putting in? Our fence is falling apart and will need replacing soon...

  2. Getting going on a gorgeous garden is terrifically invigorating. I built about 80 square feet worth of grow boxes a few years ago to start my square foot garden. Every seed I planted and every sprout that came up (which was not always the same number) brought me great joy, not to mention the harvest I got to reap. Working the earth is completely revitalizing. I gained lots of experience in my year-round garden as I tried to figure out pest issues and made mistakes like under-watering, probably over-watering, planting the wrong crops next to each other, not rotating... But the biggest thing I learned though is that what you grow depends more than anything else on the soil. The compost blend in your SFG is the determining factor. Go nuts making it the black gold it is.

    You probably gathered this, but make sure you get the updated version of SFG, called All New Square Foot Gardening. Has some important updates. It's a really sensible method.

    I've recently started a conventional veg garden with a big patch of under-used earth at our place. For it, I'm using guidelines from The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward Smith. In looking for a good seed catalog (p. 32-35), he recommends finding one based in your region because it will probably only carry seeds that grow well in your region. He says some vegetable varieties grow well almost anywhere, but others do well only in particular climates. The author gardens in the northwest, and that's also where most of his long-term favorite seed companies are based. That makes sense.

    That smartgardener website looks like a good resource! I try to avoid dependency on screens as much as possible, but that looks really helpful.

    Can't wait to see it all come to life, Ariel!

  3. I think you'll enjoy square foot gardening. I'd like to try it, as soon as I figure out how to care for my fruit trees and the rest of my yard! You might like this blog by a man who taught a SFG class I attended at our local library: . His ideas on adapting the method and slideshow are worth perusing.