What a week it has been! I have been working every night and spending the days trying to sleep a little and catch up on homestead duties. The house is still a mess, there is still laundry detergent to be made and cooking to be done, but half of the fall crops are in the ground!
I have been working on this little by little this week while trying to balance everything else. I definitely am finding it challenging lately to keep all my plates in the air-so to speak!
I decided to go with square foot gardening theory for my fall planting. Since I grew more than I ever have this spring and summer, I found that my crowded raised beds became hard to handle with weeds, the insane pumpkin plant and keeping crops separate. With square foot gardening, everything has its own designated square. Everything in a proper place-makes my chaotic world so much nicer!
Trying to be frugal, I thought about what I could put in the already built raised beds as dividers. There are plenty of options; small PVC pipe, wood, plastic dividers etc. I figured that since I have a ribbon theme surrounding my raised beds, I would continue that theme with the square foot gardening. I spent about 10 dollars total on the ribbon and I think it turned out quite lovely. The bright colors were already attracting the remaining helpful insects on the homestead.
I simply eyeballed the measurements for the ribbon, as most of you know I am way too impatient to actually measure and cut precisely. I then the ribbon stapled the ribbon to the sides of the raised bed. The only problem I can foresee is the ribbon becoming heavy with rain or dew and ripping away from the sides. If this happens, it will be an easy fix.
Instead of using squares all the same size, I left a few different sizes for bigger crops. As anyone knows who has grown squash, it can take over the garden, so I left slightly larger areas for it to grow. I also left a walkway through the middle, so nothing is planted in the middle squares.
I had spent the days before preparing the soil. I added additional organic garden soil, mushroom compost and Epsom salt. It is important to replenish the soil if you are using the same area that your spring garden was in. Read my article on Modern Homesteaders HERE for more info. I let the soil soak and settle in for a few days before planting.
My West Bed is now planted with Kale, bite sized Brussel Sprouts, carrots, squash and broccoli. I have nothing against buying started crops from a garden store or a neighbor’s garden, but for me I love the journey of starting a crop from a seed. I think a huge life lesson just pours out of the act of taking a tiny seed, caring for it for months and then enjoying the crisp, fresh taste of a crop you grew with your own two hands. Love, love, love growing my own food!
I still have the East Bed to do, but hopefully in between watching my beautiful niece’s very first soccer game, cleaning, cooking and taking a nap before night shift, it will happen tomorrow!
Have you planted your fall garden yet?
Until next time…