Get gardening

Get gardening,
The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for

No space to grow vegetables?
Don't worry, you can try a square foot garden, a method of growing vegetables in a very small space.
How do we start our square foot garden? Measure out an area 122cm x 122cm and mark the corners with pegs. Use untreated timber 3cm wide and 10cm deep. Cut 2 planks of wood 122cm long and 2 planks that are 116cm long. Take one of the 116cm lengths. To each end of the plank screw one of the 122cm lengths. When you have attached both, attach the final 116cm length to make a square. Place your square on the area that you have marked out, and fill with soil. Divide the square into sixteen x 15cm squares.
Nail long (at least 125cm) shoelaces or cord across the box to mark these squares clearly.
An established square foot garden Now you will need to decide which plants you are going to grow. You will need to research (find out about) this carefully as some types of vegetables and plants will do better than others in this small space. Each square will be planted with a different crop (type of plant). Work out the compass directions. The side of the square foot that faces south is the front. Tall plants should not shade smaller ones. The tallest plants should be at the back of the bed.
What can we find out?
While you are creating and maintaining a square foot garden there are many investigations that you can try.

• Building your own square foot garden.
• Research the plants that will grow best in such a small space.
• Sow and raise your own plants from seed.
• Work out how much it cost you to grow the plants. Then find out how much it would cost to buy the same amount of vegetables from a shop.
• Use plants to attract predators that will eat pests.
• Work out a crop rotation plan.

If maximizing garden space is anywhere near the top of your priority list, then any of the root crops will be an ideal choice for the square foot garden.

Root crops are frost tolerant and, though the greens are commonly eaten in salads, the primary edible portion of the plant is underground, protected by soil and mulch. Roots are edible at practically any stage of maturity, so season length is less important than with other vegetables

Carrots one of the most popular and easiest vegetables to grow in a backyard garden, they are an ideal choice for a Square Foot Garden

are another ideal choice for the small garden. They prefer cooler climates and can sometimes survive a frost. Despite their proclivity to cold weather most beet varieties can withstand all but the hottest locations. They like full sun, but if necessary will grow in partial shade

Radishes may be the easiest and fastest vegetable you will ever grow. Little planning and space is required. A square foot will contain 16 plants.

Sweet Potatoes
in a square foot garden. The “bush” varieties, such as the "Porto Rico Sweet Potato,"can be grown within limited spaces. One or two to the square foot planted at the garden’s perimeter should work. The sweet potato is a warm weather vegetable that requires a lengthy frost free season—100 to 125 days.

seeds are difficult to find, but the better nurseries will oftencarry young plants or "sets." Horseradish is a perrenial root crop that will take over your garden if you let it. Therefore, it is not a natural candidate for square foot gardens, but it is possible to sufficiently limit their growth within the confines of a raised garden bed. Plant in the early spring in order to harvest the same year. Otherwise plant in the autumn.

Leafy and Miscellaneous Salad Vegetables...
The various types of "leaf" or "loose-leaf" lettuce, such as Black-seeded Simpson and Oak Leaf are the most commonly planted by backyard gardeners. Just behind them in popularity would be Butterhead or Romaine. Butterhead produces tender leaves with a distinctive flavor in a small loose head. Romaine has an upright elongated head. Crisp head varieties, such as the "Iceburg" types seen in supermarkets are more difficult to grow and are suited for colder climates and won't normally do well elsewhere.
Spinach is another vegetable that can be planted successively, beginning in the early spring, for a continuously harvested crop. Spinach does a little better in cool weather and in warm climates partial shade will probably benefit the plants. It is an ideal candidate for the square foot gardening method.

Green Onions/Scallions - Why the slash? Well, the definitions, I suppose, would depend upon who is doing the defining. Many people say that a green onion is simply how we, in this country, refer to a scallion. Others will tell you that a scallion is a slightly less mature version of the green onion, and that a green onion will have developed a barely perceptible bulb. At any rate, neither is a distinct plant. If left alone, both

will eventually become full blown onions. "Green" onions are among my favorite plants to grow. During certain months nurseries will stock onion "sets." Seare simply small bulbs, usually less than an inch in diameter.

There is an abundance of Tomato growing information on the internet, so I'll just point out that Tomatoes, the bush type, do well in a raised square foot garden. Among the most popular of cultivated plants, tomatoes are technically a fruit that is usually prepared as a vegetable. There are roughly 7500 types of cultivated tomato, ranging in color from yellow to red, purple and black.

**Cucumbers probably originated in India roughly 3000 years ago, making their way to Europe in the 6th or 7th centuries A.D. Despite the asteriks, some of the bush varieties of cucumber can be grown in square foot gardens, either at the perimeter or in containers.

Cucumbers thrive in full sun and nutrient rich soil. Mulch frequently. Pick cucumbers at leasgt every other day to promote continual production.

As with all peppers, Bell Peppers are a warm weather plant. In August and September, Bells thrive and even seem to do best in those hottest months. In cooler climates you may want to start the plantrs indoors in the spring, moving them to the garden once it gets warm.
Squash may be the most popular garden vegetable. Maybe the best known of the summer squashes, Zucchini is an extremely prolific producer. One zucchini plant and one summer squash should feed a family of four throughout the summer.

They don't do well in acidic soil. An optimum pH range would be 6 to 6.5. Carrots don't require a lot of space, so you can plant at intervals of 3 inches. In other words, each 1-foot square should contain 16 plants. Germination occurs at 6 to 18 days.

Pumpkins are a fun crop that, believe it or not, can be grown in a square foot garden, as long as you use a vertical frame of the sort used for tomatoes and melons. Pumpkins are a warm season vegetable easily damaged by frost. To harvest in time for Haloween, plant between late May and early July. They like at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Pumpkins are heavy feeders and

will do well in a square foot garden, and digging them up is always like a treasure hunt, since you never know what will turn up. For large potatoes grow only one plant per square. For "new" or young, tender potatoes, you can try as many as four plants per square.

Plant in the spring in ground that is moist, but not overly so. Prior to planting, it might be a good idea to expose your seed potatoes to warmth for a couple of weeks to speed up the sprouting process. It is a good idea to add mulch or other organic material to the soil below