Shorewood Illinois Square Foot Garden
- Location: Shorewood, IL
- Gardening Year: 2013
- Planting By Color group: Yellow, Maroon
Let me start by saying I am a complete newbie to the garden world. I am a 33 year special education teacher, wife, and mother of 2 boys, 5 and 1.
We recently moved from a smaller duplex, to a large house with a large yard, and one of the first things I wanted to do was have a garden. So, in my google-searching, I happened upon Mel’s Square Foot Gardening method, bought the book, and am hooked. His book was so easy to follow and easy to understand, and it makes so much sense! I tried explaining the method to my father (who is a very “set in his ways” traditional kind of guy). He’s not so sure about the idea, and thinks there is no way in heck that I will be able to grow watermelon’s vertically…. but…. by the end of the summer… I hope to prove him wrong!
So, I drew out some plans,and purchased all the supplies. My wonderful husband did all the building of the boxes, I painted them, he built the trellis’, we filled the boxes together with help from our eager son, and my hubby also built chicken wire “tops” to protect the newly planted seeds in the beginning. The personal satisfaction that you get from creating something that is “yours” is pretty cool.
I had a ton of “questions” about when to plant, etc. etc., and I was kind of obsessing about when to put my first seeds and transplants into the ground. I’m always so worried that I will do something “wrong” and screw it up. I was very “iffy” about planting so far ahead of the “last frost” date like the books suggest, however, I decided to just trust the book, and plant my early spring vegetables 6 weeks before the last frost date. So, on April 7, I was pretty much the only one in the neighborhood out planting my broccoli, lettuce, carrots, radishes, and strawberries. And then came some pretty cold nights and about three weeks of cold and rain. I covered the garden a lot of those nights with plastic…. and I was so worried that all my seeds would “wash away” or die because it was so cold…. but…. it’s May 20… and I have a pretty great looking garden right now… so I’m very happy and learning as I go!
1. I tried to do a bit of research on “companion” planting… but it’s so hard to keep everything straight. Does anything look out of place, or should I not put certain things next to each other next year?
2. Any suggestions for what to put in the two open spots?
3. Any ideas why my cucumbers have yellow/dying-looking leaves?
4. Any ideas how to keep insects off of my strawberries?? Rolly-Pollies are attacking the berries as soon as they turn red.
Thanks for your help!