Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Planning the Spring Garden

I'm sorry it took me so long to post the plan for our front yard! It's kind of hard to tell what's going on without any of the labels, but the short version is that the four squares near our front porch steps are 4x4 raised beds made out of wood. The bed to the right of those is an herb garden. The bed along the sidewalk has five blueberry bushes in it. There is also a pomegranate tree, kale, basil, and some other edible things. The whole thing has drip irrigation which will help us save water and minimize the amount of work that is going into the front yard.

The good news is that we've finally saved up enough money to have the landscaping done. Woo-hoo! And since it's only April, there's still time to get stuff planted in the garden for the upcoming season. 

I've consulted the Vegetable Garden Planting Guide for my county, and it looks like we can plant things every couple months all year long (thanks, Texas!). Here's what we're planning for April:
  • Sweet potatoes (4 per square)
  • Greens 
  • Okra (1 per square)
  • Watermelon (1 per two squares)
  • Carrots (16 per square)
Of course we reserve the right to modify the plan once we get to the garden store and see what's available and hear some of their recommendations! 

We'll be following the Square Foot Gardening method, so that we can maximize space and make the process easier for ourselves. I don't come from a family of gardeners, so it's not second nature to me. It's something I'm trying to learn. We'll see how it goes! 

Now that I'm sitting down to write this post, I'm realizing just how excited I am about this. I started this blog seven(!) years ago. My first post was about how I was starting to cook at home more and about how I wanted to take up gardening. The name "Feeding the Soil" came from an old organic gardening adage. My friend Camella shared it with me to describe the kind of education we were trying to implement in our English Language Arts classrooms (using the reading and writing workshop model). The idea was that education needed to be transformative and get to the very core of who we are as people (versus just dealing with the surface stuff). 

Matt and I attempted gardening with full gusto when we moved to Denver, but it was a big failure. Too hot. Too much work to water. Too little reward (if anything did ever grow, Hoss would eat it before we could). When we moved to Houston, our yard was too shady and we couldn't bring ourselves to chop down any trees to let in light. Then we moved to Austin and were in a rental house. And now we are finally settled in for the long haul. I opted to use our front yard for gardening because a) it's sunnier than the backyard b) we can keep Hoss and the chickens out of it more easily (although I am nervous about neighborhood cats) and c) we travel through it at least four times a day. We literally have to walk through the garden to get to our cars, so it will be easier to monitor and keep up with. Also, I'm hoping that the drip irrigation takes the hardest part out of gardening. Matt is skeptical that we'll be able to do it (given our previous lack of green thumbness), but I'm optimistic and excited! 

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Daniel Rauh said...

Just a reminder the Rauh's had an organic garden for a long time in Conn. You will do great. Have you started a compost pile and try to collect chicken manure a great natural fertilizer.
Grampa Dan

Catherine said...

I am absolutely amazed that is has been 7 years! Congratulations on you blog anniversary. :)

Sara E. Cotner said...

Thanks so much, Catherine! It's been super-fun.

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