North Alabama Square Foot Gardening Plan

You may also like...

9 Responses

  1. Ladydy8 says:

    Thanks! Beer bottles require lots and lots of digging to ensure they are even along the top. You bury them in a trench and use a level. There are lots of ways to put them, just search and you will find directions. Also, use bottles that are flat on the bottom (top). Otherwise, the indentations (like wine bottles) will fill with dirt and water. If water…then ice…then cracking bottles. I would not recommend using concrete to set the bottles, just in case they break in-situ. If you don’t want to bury them, you can also set them on edge to make a small wall. Then you could use concrete. But there are other things you can use for edging and paths that may be better. They also get REALLY hot in the summer here!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Wow….I’m really impressed. You have done a great job planning and executing! I’m also a bit envious of your space and sun 🙂
    I’m curious about using beer bottles for paths…how does that work?

  3. Deb Owsley says:

    I am loving your design. We live south of Birmingham and I was wondering how the vegetables would handle the heat. We have not started yet, so by the time we get set up, we will be doing winter crops.

  4. Ladydy8 says:

    Thanks Linda for the suggestion. I do use pine needles in some areas, but they tend to get slippery and my elderly Mom doesn’t feel secure walking on them. And, I actually have to go in search of the pines to get enough for my paths and beds. Unfortunately, we have many bricks available with so much tornado damage. So I will likely be using that now.

  5. Linda Heckman says:

    You asked for ideas for your garden paths. Since you live in the Southeast, I would suggest that you use pine needles about three or four inches deep. Rain would drain through and also keep you out of the mud. It looks good, is free or else extremely cheap and is easily renewed. I have a golden retreiver who is a mere 80 pounds but also a digger. I am starting raised garden beds this year in our chainlink concrete dog run. I plan to use the fence as my trellis and also to keep the dog out of my garden. Happy gardening!

  6. Diane says:

    Thanks for the comments! I have definately been reading ALL my books on gardening over the past few years and really learning things I did not know. I am also amazed at the different opinions out there on starting/transplanting/harvesting. But I will continue trying new things to see what works best here.

    Emily, I am not putting strawberries in the SFG, but have purchased a tiered planter (Gurnee’s and Burgess both have them) for the yard. I think that way I can leave them in place and let them continue year-to-year. I am definately trellising the vines in the SFG because I find that the provide excellent cover for my lettuce during the heat of the summer. I was able to harvest some excellent lettuce last year. I was even able to grow Sugar Baby watermelon and Hales Best cantelope last year in the SFG, but I did find that the fruit tended to get in the way as it dropped through the grid over the lettuce.

    I appreciate all your comments. I will definately take more pictures this year and show you how it all works out. I will take pics of the ‘Biergarten’ during the construction process as well. I can’t wait for that! Just need to figure out how to keep the dogs out of there too!

    And YES, Tucker is 135 of pure muscle. He gets much exercise on our little hill. His sibling, Sugar, is just 110 pounds! Together they would destroy my garden. I have to design around their established paths worn in the grass and their desire to make beds in the cool parts of the yard. Unfortunately, my shade garden gets the brunt of their activity! I am constantly replacing the concrete bird bath that has been toppled. And Sugar loves to pull up newly planted shrubs/plants/trees. Especially, my blueberries! She also loves to play with garden art! So, I have my struggles not only keeping plants alive, but keeping them safe from the yard terrors!

  7. Richard says:

    I’m in North Alabama also, in Huntsville, I’m trying to start a square foot garden in my backyard (3 4×4 plots). Your garden looks great!


  8. Emily says:

    First, everything is beautiful! The view, the fence, the beds, even the dogs! Second, I loved the dog sleeping in the garden bed. Looking at the two pictures together was so funny because at first, I thought he was lying in one square of your bed. Then I realized he was in an entire bed, nearly filling it!

    Some thoughts on your garden plan:
    *Strawberries are a perennial plant that will spread, so you may find that you need to dedicate an entire bed to them, or move them. They make a great ground cover and can be planted in flower beds. For me, they are not worth planting in square foot gardens, because they don’t give you much “bang for your buck” or “harvest per square.”

    *If you want to do some succession planting, veggies like broccoli, cabbage, kale, and spinach won’t grow well in the summer heat. Once you harvest them, add some compost to each square and replant with bush beans, beets, carrots, or green onions. They take between 6 and 10 weeks to mature, and will grow well in the heat. That should leave you enough time to plant the cool-weather veggies for harvest in the fall. Also, radishes are a quick harvest (30 days), so you can plant those anywhere you have an empty square mid-season.

    *Broccoli and cabbage are going to need more than one square per plant. I plant 4 in 9 squares, or 6 in 12 squares, staggering them to give them room to grow.

    *If you stake and prune the zucchini and yellow squash, I find you can grow them in about 2 squares. The leaves are SO BIG I find it gets crowded to limit them to just one.

    I can tell you have put a lot of time and thought into your garden plan–it and your gardens are so amazing! I’d love to see your herb (beer) garden when it’s done–be sure to take pictures this year and share them with us!

  9. Melody says:

    Beautiful garden! I hope everything goes well for you this growing season.