After several disappointing attempts to grow vegetables in my backyard, I decided to give it one more try. Somewhere I had read about square foot gardening, so I checked out All New Square Foot Gardening from the library. I bought some cheap boards at Menards (they have a bin for wood that doesn’t meet standards for lumber) and put together a 2 x 4 foot garden. (That’s smaller than what Mel Bartholomew recommends, but it was ambitious enough for me.)
I asked a co-worker who does a lot of gardening what plants are easy to grow. “All of them,” she answered. But she did suggest beans and beets as especially easy. Along with those I decided on lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard, so I can make lots of salads. And I bought a tomato plant from Menards, since I had read that growing them from seeds was difficult.
I didn’t follow Mel Bartholomew’s advice exactly on the soil mix, since I don’t have a compost pile and don’t know where to get compost that would include a variety of sources. (The town has compost available where residents can also drop off lawn waste, but I suspect the compost is nearly all from yard waste, which would be just about all grass during the summer and leaves in the fall.) So along with a bag of vermiculite and a bag of peat moss, I got one bag of compost from Menards, a bag of their potting soil, and another bag of potting soil from the supermarket.
So far my veggies seem to be doing well – certainly better than in any of my previous gardens (not counting the cucumbers I grew as a child). So far only one plant (the first bean plant that sprouted) seems to have been a victim of roaming herbivores (most likely one of the rabbits). I took some of the chicken wire leftover from making my younger son’s moon costume a couple of years ago, and made a cover for the garden.