Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Little Taste of Summer

Right about now is the time of year when winter fatigue starts to settle in for me. I’m tired of gray days, tired of short days, tired of wet and muddy, and I’m really, really tired of cold.

My mother was a gardener of both vegetables and flowers. This is the time of year that she would sit down with her seed and bulb catalogs and plan her gardens.

I, unfortunately, did not inherit her green thumb. House plants enter my abode kicking and screaming, knowing that their lifespan has been shortened considerably just by crossing the threshold. The few times I’ve attempted tomato plants have yielded no more than one or two runty, mealy tomatoes not worth eating.

Basically, I gave up long ago.

Then at the end of last summer, I stumbled upon the book All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.


You build a raised bed 4ftx4ft, divide it into sixteen squares, and plant a veggie (or whatever) in each square. No more tilling up your whole yard and endless rows of weeding, etc. (There’s more to it than that, but I’ll let you read the book.)

Fortunately, Craig is enthusiastic about giving this a try, so as usual he will be the brawn behind the project. If all goes well, I’m hoping to have some of these this summer:

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Well, I’m optimistic, at least! And I enjoyed that little glimpse of summer; hope you did too.

Seriously, if you are considering planting a garden this year, especially if this will be your first and you don’t already have a big garden laying fallow in your backyard, check out this book. It really looks like a brilliant why-didn’t-anybody-think-of-this-before method and gets great reviews on Amazon.


Cindy said...

SQF works!! I did my first one last 2nd year of gardening. I did not use the book, I went to There are more things on there, what has worked for people, what hasn't....check it out.

And good luck!!!

Lucy Marie said...

I've heard lots of great things about this type of gardening from people who don't have the space or time for a big garden. I am confidant it will go well for you. Trust me, one year with a successful garden, and you will never want to be without again!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Great idea!! We used the area on the side of our house last year. I had 3 tomato plants b/c we got started really late. But those 3 little tomato plants from Wal-Mart seriously grew bigger than my large azaleas in the front of my house! My FIL brought some compost over, and I swear it made a huge difference. We had a bumper crop of tomatoes.

This year, I hope to do a better job of canning them.

The "garden" got pretty overgrown...too hard to weed AND take care of everything I else I had to do.

trish said...

I can hardly wait for gardening "time"! My husband will till our garden area this weekend! I am dreaming of fresh tomato sandwiches!! :o)

Pat & Ron Harris said...

I with you on the cold, grey winter days. I am so tired of them. Can't wait for spring and a chance to do something outdoors. I'm going to do some raised bed flower gardens as my yard is clay soil, wet all winter. Everything rots in the winter. I'm sure that book would be great for flowers too. Can't do veggies, no sunlight in my yard.

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

I used another book by this author to plan out our garden last year. It worked like a dream. We didn't build raised beds because we have good soil, but the square foot philosophy gets you a lot of bang for your buck in a small yard. Good luck! (I just posted about our garden last year, if you wanna check out our progress.)

Amy@TheLemonCottage said...

I can't wait until it warms up. I am missing my gardens! AUGH!

Tricia said...

Ooh, you are the second friend to mention seed catalogs and gardening today. Alright. I have to plan. The kids want a real garden so badly, and I always have such good intentions, but never get to it. This is the year we try!! (Notice I said try.)

Tricia said...

How funny! Kim @ NewlyWoodwards was who I was talking about. ;)

Lisa @ Another Day Today said...

I'm with you - can't wait for some warmer weather. We're going to try a couple of raised beds this spring - I hope they'll grow :)


Seizing My Day said...

I love a few weeks of winter (not rain) but cold and 'snow'. But this year winter can not go away fast enough... I must be getting crankier with age... ha ha! I do not have my mothers green thumb either! I love small gardens! I am hoping to buy a few half barrels and let my kids each plant in one ... and maybe I will plant in one too?? Spring where are you?! ;)

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

I cannot wait to start gardening this year!

Anonymous said...

Ohhh...and I thought I was already impatient for warmer weather--that did me in! My mom can also grow anything. I've given her plants that I've almost killed, and she always brings them back. Can't wait to hear how you do!


prashant said...

I swear it made a huge difference. We had a bumper crop of tomatoes.

Work from home India

Rambling Girl said...

you are such a tease...shame on you...I am so ready for my fresh that is my kind of crafting!

Anonymous said...

Hey Holly, I'm an old girl now but this guy had a gardening show on PBS way back in the seventies....that's when my hubby & I first learned about this. Since neither one of us had a green thumb we never planted vegetables but just wanted to let you know this is not a new concept.
Have a happy day.