Building beds and spring planting

Just last week it dawned on me that it's getting late to plant the Spring vegetables. I am new at this afterall. So that lit a fire under me to finalize my plan and start building my beds.

As it turns out, the tomatoes I've started are determinate (bush as opposed to vine) types. I hadn't really paid attention to this before. I had been skeptical of the Square Foot Gardening method just because I remember how big my cherry and Roma tomato plants got last year. Well it turns out that Square Foot Gardening recommends that you give determinate tomato plants 9 square feet. Crookneck squash also need 9 square feet.

I've also decided that I should plant more varieties of fruits and veggies and less quantities of each. So I've gone slightly seed crazy. In addition to the plants I listed a few weeks back, I've decided to plant cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, bok choi, leeks, radishes, cantaloupe, watermelon, corn, lemongrass (thanks to a really helpful comment from lynn'sgarden), container strawberries, and a determinate variety of heirloom tomatoes.

I was yapping about all this to my friend Sharlette who lives in an apartment, and she mentioned that she wishes she could grow a garden. So we decided to do some yard sharing! She'll have a 4x4 plot in my backyard.

So with all of the above considered, I've come up with this new plan:

'Veggie 1' is a 6'x6' square where I'll plant two Roma tomato plants, 1 cherry tomato, and 1 crookneck squash, inter-planted with carrots, radishes, beets, and leeks to use the extra space while the tomato plant is still small. 'Veggie 2' will be for more summer fruits and veggies, to be determined. Last weekend, I built 'Veggie 3', 'Veggie 4' which is Sharlette's plot, and the 3'x3' herb box. Sharlette and I planted cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, bok choi, mesclun, carrots, radishes, beets, and leeks. Here's what it looks like so far:

Notice that the mess of ivy covering two stumps in my before pictures is now a single bare stump. That's because two weekends ago after I ripped up the ivy, I removed a huge rotted tree stump. Yes me. By myself. I'm definitely proud of this accomplishment!


  1. Great job! Since we live in the same area, I am looking forward to seeing how your garden progresses. I have spinach, carrots, mesclun lettuce and brussles sprouts planted right now, along with a container of herbs and some tomato seeds started in peat pots. You've tempted me to go buy broccoli and radish seeds now, though! :) Will do that this weekend...

  2. wow you are already way ahead of me and will probably plant before my beds are finished. but umm i blame the zoning. i'm in 7 and i scraped frost off my car this morning.

  3. I couldn't agree more about variety. If you plant a lot of different things and keep track of what you like, then you can begin to narrow your choices down if you want later. Experimentation is my middle name these days. Your garden looks good!

  4. What a great idea to yard share. I've got more space and I'm sure there are people I know who'd happily use some of it. Your veggie choices sound great! Can't wait to see them growing.

  5. Nice garden beds, and so well laid out. When designing a garden layout, it’s important to remember that you can make the beds as long as necessary, but shouldn’t make them too wide so that you will be able to stand next to them when working. Great job!