- Location: Omaha, NE
- Gardening year: 2013
- Planting By Color: Yellow/Maroon
Greetings, I’m brand new to gardening, and after a lot of research, I thought square foot gardening looked like the most efficient way to do it. I decided to start gardening after my wife became pregnant this winter. All the baby books said to eat tons and tons of veggies, and so I thought this would be a cost-effective and fun way to provide them.
My neighborhood community garden offered us a 4×10 plot, and I told my brother in law I would give him 1 row of 4, which leaves me with a 4×9 plot. In March I started 5 varieties of heirloom tomatos, 4 varieties of sweet pepper, and some eggplant. I have tons of seedlings, and would like to get as many of them in as possible.
Here’s my naked plot. Since it’s my first time using this previously-used plot, I’m not sure what was growing here before, or what is in the soil. I supplemented it with a roughly even mix of Oma-gro (compost made from municipal clippings), vermiculite, and peat moss.
And here’s how I plan to use it:
I am building a 10-ft wide trellis made of electrical conduit, 5 ft high, running along the north end. (Too short? I don’t want to shade out the other community gardeners.) I’m playing with the idea of placing the trellis one foot into the bed (one foot south of the north end), to increase access to the tomatos, cucumbers, and melons from the north end. I’m concerned it will be harder to pick the fruit through the trellis if it’s right along the north edge. Is access an issue with nylon net trellises?
I plan on pruning the tomatos to one stem each to accomodate such tight spacing. I might keep the melons to one plant (ideally two), but maybe because they’re midget melons the foliage won’t be as heavy. Anyone have experience with them?
For the rest of the plot, I’m using a kind of checkerboard pattern of big and small plants to avoid planting too densely. The big ones are peppers, eggplants, and bush beans. The smaller ones are herbs, greens and carrots. The sequential plantings are staggered so that by the time I’m on my third planting, I will only be planting in the outside edge, allowing for easy access to the soil. I put marigolds and basil near the vining plants because I’ve read they help with pests.
Looking forward to getting stuff in the ground real soon. It’s snowing in zone 5b right now, but frost-free date is two weeks off. Insane weather here in Omaha.
I will update in the comments section as the year progresses. Please comment with any words of wisdom for a novice gardener. Thanks!