Welcome to One-Quarter Acres

Here's a chronicle of life on a plot of land right smack in the suburbs in Minnesota, whose owners would much prefer to be in the middle of nowhere.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The garden is in. I repeat: The garden is in.

This is the earliest I've gotten my garden planted in... ever. Most years, I'm waiting and waiting and waiting for all of the parts to come together: a free day, prepared beds, cooperative weather, an assembly of plants and seeds. We've been having absolutely gorgeous weather (if you ignore that cold, rainy stretch) for quite awhile, which meant that I even started cold-weather crops while it was still "cold," and Sunday was the day I tucked everything else in its dirt bed.

A shout out to my neighbor, who held the baby (who is anti-playpen when it's outside, and pro-playpen when it's inside; go figure) during half the planting.

And, for posterity, I present to you... the map of the garden.

Garden box #1

Garden box #2

Garden box #3

*Parris Island Romaine, Slobolt, Yugoslavian Red... I think.

As you may notice, I do the square foot garden thing, though I can't say I do it properly. Who wants to fill nine squares with a tomato plant? I compromised from last year and allotted two. I will kick myself for this later, but chances are the tomatoes are the only thing that'll go crazy, as happens every year.

The tomatoes were started from seed and I managed to not kill them before they were placed into the ground. There's also a Reisentraube tomato in a pot on our stoop, and the remaining tomato plants (as I am not doing a community garden plot after all) will be potted if they can survive long enough. We go through lots of tomatoes. I loved the Hillbilly Potato Leaf tomato last year.

Of those things planted April 19, the peas are the most vigorous. The spinach comes in second, and broccoli third. The lettuce is protesting, so most of it was reseeded on Sunday. I'm not entirely sure it was worth the effort to put in an early planting, since it took forever for everything to come up, and there hasn't been much progress overall.

Most of the seeds I purchased two years ago from Seed Savers Exchange, but they're still germinating well. This year marks the end of the Charantais and Blacktail Mountain melon seeds; maybe this year I'll actually get one. And maybe this year I'll manage to post more than one progress photo.

I have high hopes for the vigor of my plants this year, as I topped off each bed with a nice heap of homemade compost, fresh out of the compost tumbler.


  1. I'm so very very jealous of your awesome garden!!

  2. This is so great, and inspiring! I've been telling myself that next year will be my year to put in a real vegetable garden somewhere on our property. This year I'm just doing a couple potted tomatoes on the deck. If I can only have one thing, it's gotta be the tomatoes, mmmm.

    I'm not too well-versed on square-foot gardening (my mom's garden was always the old-fashionbed rows). Are each of your boxes 4' by 4'? And how tall are they? Do you use landscaping timbers for the sides or something else? I'm just fascinated by this concept!!



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