We have always had a tomato plant or two tucked into a flower bed some where but last year I tried out a new system of gardening called "Square Foot Gardening" (SFG). It is designed to maximize your gardening area with four foot by four foot raised beds filled with the blend of soil that puts your plants into hyper drive. With 16 acres why would I need this system? I just liked the idea of little perfect gardening patches.
Well I made up my squares and I mixed up my soil. I carefully picked out my plants and nurtured them. AND THEM THE GOATS GOT LOOSE ONE DAY AND WIPED THEM ALL OUT. Some of it recovered enough to have some stuff, but nothing like the harvest I had in mind.
So this year I am going to take what I learned and grow from it. I am still going to use my three SFG beds but I am adding several other regular beds to the mix as well. I am going from 48 square feet of gardening area to 314! Is that a little over board? Do you know me at all? Of course it is. They will all bed raised beds build in a U with a center raised bed. We are going to put fencing around it to keep the goats/human kids/dogs out of the mix. The paths in the garden are going to be weed mat and newspaper covered with straw. The beds themselves will be scoops of the multi-animal compost that we always have plenty of and peat moss.
Now for the plants. I have a four page spread sheet that is directing me. I will pass it on in a latter post, but I doubt anyone but me would really be that interested in reading it.
Here is a list of the plants I am exploring this year:
(Notice I said exploring? I am giving myself some slack here. I haven't really done this before and if everything doesn't work, than so be it.)
Pumpkins of three kinds - large back pasture bed
Corn - two types - large side pasture bed
Watermelon - in same bed as corn
Blueberry's - by the house
Tomato's - three kinds
Flowers: Starting as seedlings and adding to landscaping of house
Black Eyes Susan
The whole outside of the garden fence will be lined with elf sunflowers.
Anyone have any pointers they want to share? I am trying to stay as organic as possible so help me out and teach me something cool! Isn't there something about planting a fish with your tomato's?