Garden Update - Square Foot Gardening

April and May are months when a Midwest gardener needs tremendous patience and faith—faith that those seeds you planted will actually sprout, and that warmer weather will actually arrive. Fortunately, we've finally reached that point in our growing season where we begin to see real growth. Finally, the spinach, carrots, beets and potatoes I sowed way back in March are showing themselves. Hope springs! 

On May 18, I received the seedlings for my GardenWorks Project demo garden. Each client receives seeds and seedlings to plant a 4x8-foot raised bed garden. Following the map provided, I planted my garden according to "square-foot gardening" principles. Although I was familiar with square-foot gardening—a method that maximizes garden yields in minimal space—I've never practiced it strictly, so this will be a learning experience for me as well. The first thing I did was measure and mark off square-foot spaces with some twine:

Then it was time to plant the seedlings and seeds! I planted two tomato plants, cucumber, lettuce, peppers, two kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, chives, and basil, I also sowed the seeds for zucchini, beans, and additional lettuce. A few spots are "intentionally left blank" to give the tomatoes some room, and I filled those in with marigolds, which are a wonderful companion plant for many vegetables because they help to repel insects. Here's how it looked when I finished:

I'm excited to see how this garden progresses. I don't expect much maintenance except pulling the occasional weed, but we will see. I'll be updating progress on this bed every week or two, so you can see how it looks throughout the season. I'd love to hear about your gardens, too. Happy gardening to you! 

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