I have to give you a short history of the Plourde gardening effort before I can talk about this year. My dad has always had a garden of some sort for as long as I can remember, but I never remember really having a lot of fresh veggies around that he/we grew on our own. Things start off in the Spring moving along with a lot of gusto and then as the season progresses everyone seems to lose interest.
There are four of us in my family and it seems that Dad and I are the only two who can manage to keep up with the task eventhough the other two people love to reap the benefits of it. I compared this to the story of chicken little. You go around and try to get them to help out but they don't really want to, and then at the end of the summer when there are beautiful veggies to be had everyone wants to eat them but never bothered to help with the growing process. I digress....
Last year was the first year that we really put in a hard core effort to grow some things. After much deliberation Dad told me that he was game for anything when it comes to planting. I searched around the internet for gardening ideas and came across the Square Foot Gardening (SFG) technique. I bought the book by Mel Bartholomew and brought it out to my parents place. I could tell that dad was not convinced that it would work, but we went for it anyway. Dad built (3) 4'x4' raised beds, and (1) 4'x8' bed. Next we positioned them in the yard (mom actually helped me cut up the sod and remove it bfore putting the bed frames down) and filled them with Mel's Mix (a soil recipe from the SFG book).
(These are the raised beds, the big bed in the back has a fence for climbing veggies, and a number of strawberry plants.)
We planted seedlings and waited to see what would happen. I spent a lot of time at my parents house last summer checking on the veggies, pulling out weeds, and watching things grow. The result was AMAZING, we ended up with HUGE cherry tomatoe plants, a ton of summer squash, strawberries, carrots, beans, peppers, etc. Dad is a believer now, and he tells everyone about the SFG technique and how well it worked.
Now for this year....
For the past 2 weekends we have had beautiful weather with temperatures into the 70's. I have had the gardening itch like crazy but I have to keep telling myself that its still really early and to not get my hopes up.
For the first weekend Dad and I spent a whole Saturday cleaning up the yard and getting things ready. I raked out all of the flower beds and gave all the perennials room to sprout out of the ground. Last fall I planted some garlic and I also added some Crocus bulbs to our front flower garden, both are coming up nicely.
Garlic (all but 2 bulbs sprouted)