Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Square Foot Box #2

On May 31, wifey and I dropped a number of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds into 15 containers and established our second Square Foot Box. We're calling it SFB2. We've taken some of the basic tenets of Square Foot Gardening and gone from there. As with SFB1 (that we planted on 3/8/09), we used only one seed per container. SFB1 had a 95% germination rate, and that was using a hodge-podge of seeds gathered over the years. Not bad.

We dish the dirt. Lots of it.

The difference between SFB1 and SFB2 is that, this time, for SFB2, ALL of the seeds are from only one vendor: Baker Creek.

Four of the 15 containers are outside of the box, but close to it. Yes, we are thinking, and planting, outside the box. I like having the 4' by 4' box to serve as a general sense of order out of the chaos. It's a way of grouping things together, and even if the containers that we use to start get scattered, it helps to have a general pattern to follow. That, and the box works very well to anchor down bird netting we have draped over SFB1 to protect our precious tomatoes from the predatory birds.

This time, for SFB2, unlike SFB1, we mixed a portion of compost in with the potting soil at planting time. And we also mixed some tomato food directly into the soil for the three new tomato plants.

SFB2 ready to launch.

We have sown (not in the order you see them above)...

1) Cinnamon Basil
2) Lemon Basil
3) Feverfew
4) Teddy Bear Sunflower
5) He Shi Bunching Onion
6) New Zealand Spinach
7) Golden Zucchini Squash
8) Table Gold Acorn Squash
9) Isis Candy Cherry Tomato
10) Green Sausage Tomato
11) Dr. Carolyn Tomato
12) Sweet Passion Melon
13) Plum Granny Melon
14) D'Alger Melon
15) Katanya Watermelon

We have been wildly successful with the tomato crop this year grown in SFB1. They have been coming in like gangbusters on the Better Bush and Rutgers plants...

...and the Health Kick Hybrid, planted after SFB1, but moved under the netting with the other two tomato plants, has about 40 roma-style fruits developing.

Judging by the number of flowers we see on the Health Kick, we could get upwards of 100 fruits from those two plants sharing one container.

We've also had our share of failures. Witness the carrot fiasco...

...but we're beginning to feel like real urban farmers. We're starting to get cocky and think that we can grow anything on the roof. How absurd! Did I mention the carrots? I will be amazed if we can produce some (any?) of these melons, and the Katanya watermelon. This is our first try with melons, and our first tries don't...uh...turn out so great. I think we'll need to let them roam a bit.

As of today, 6/6/09, 11 of the 15 new plantings have sprouted. I'll bet the rest will sprout soon. We didn't set up a dripper system this time on the new kids in the box. Just relying on the sprinkler coming on at noon, and hand-misting the children each morning before work. We could still set up the drippers if we feel like we need more consistent watering.

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