Friday, August 4, 2017

2017 Square Foot Garden

August 2017 square foot garden
You can click the image for a larger view.

2017 SFG with orange netting to keep chickens out.  By next year we hope to have a regular fence around it and mulch the paths.  It's a pain to weed-eat around the beds when the plants hang over.

View from the other end

I've made changes from my original 4 x 6 beds.  Everything was too crowded, air and sunlight could not get to the center sections and harvesting was hard to do.  I also tried 2 x 6 boxes.

Now I have 1 x 6 beds for the most part, with three 3x6 boxes that I use for turnips, bush squash, leeks, onions and a few other things.

My 1 x 6 beds are perfect.  You get good air circulation and plenty of sunlight.  This is especially important for tomatoes in my Zone 7 humid area.  My tomatoes had always gotten blight by the middle of June, even when I was using 2 x 6 boxes and staggered the plants.

We have been using the PVC pipe with hose clamps for quite a while and they have not needed replacing.

It is now August and my tomatoes are kind of scraggly looking, but still going strong.  These are not cherry tomatoes, but Early Cascade.  These are a "saladette" type at 4 oz each.  They seem heavier than that, so I might weigh one to see.   I started my seeds a bit late this year, so they weren't particularly early.

I use a braided nylon cord that is very inexpensive for tying them to the frame.

I cut a length long enough to tie around the frame and reach to the ground with 2-3 inches extra.  While the plants are still small, I start winding them around the cord and repeat as necessary while they grow.

I posted once about using fishing line and it worked fine til we had a big storm and the line broke.  What I used was light weight and it might have worked better with a heavier line, but actually the cord is much easier to wrap and I don't worry so much about the cord cutting into the tomato stem.

This is why I don't bother with growing yellow squash.  Zuchetta Tromboncino tastes just like yellow squash, the neck is all meat and it grows on a trellis to save space.  What's not to love?

The 2 squash above after slicing.

My 1x6 box with tromboncino squash

This one needs another day before picking

The cucumber jungle.  I probably won't do this again.  The cucumbers on the right are planted on top of the compost pile, the one on the left is 4 plants inside (definitely a no-no, should be outside the frame) of a cattle panel frame.  Most of the cukes are on the outside and easier to pick.

I have to climb on the pile of compost and search for the cukes.  Trellising is definitely better, even though mine have never been this lush on a trellis.

Tall Louisiana Purple fig tree.  It did not freeze to the gound this year, but all the early figs blew off when we had a series of bad storms early in the season.  Now it is full of figs, mostly still small, but I have eaten 4-5 ripe ones.  Yummmmm.

They are still small to medium, but should have plenty of time to ripen before frost.

Stock photo of LSU Louisiana Purple figs.  They are not quite as large as the Brown Turkey, but I ain't complainin'.  They are so sweet!

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