I'm about one third of the way through the growing process--I planted most of my seeds three weeks ago, followed by a rather brash and fervent decision to double up and plant more a week later. Moral of the story? Be sure to check the package to determine how many plants should go in each garden square--gardening book basics say to divide a 4x4 plot into 16 squares, each one square foot in measure. I'm going to have so many vegetables I won't know what to do with them!
Check out my brocco-rabe-sprouts (pictured below)! It looks like a clover patch, don't you think? These babies were planted in a significantly sized trench right in the middle of the plot, mid-two-week torrential rain pour. I was honestly concerned about the broccoli, but obviously they must have just loved it! I have more broccoli than anything else in the garden--however the entire plot is sprout-popping! I even removed the stones I laid down last week to find things pop'n up underneath where I hadn't planted anything. It's my belief the rain moved things around a bit as well...
I decided to read up--Every garden book advises to start "small," but small is never defined exactly. I planted ten different kinds of vegetables, two herbs and three types of flowers... I don't know if this is small or not, but you can tell (from the second to last picture of kale/ chard) just how many sproutlings are successfully stretching for sunshine. Apparently, according to Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work, it's important to follow guidelines on not only how many plants should go in each square, but also important to follow guides on how far apart each plant needs to be from others. For example, since broccoli and peppers should be planted 12 inches apart, you should just plant one packet of seeds in the center of one square. Carrots should be planted three inches apart, so you may plant 16 (four rows across by four down), all three inches apart from each other and 1 1/2 inches from the edges.
Guess what? I don't really even know if I have rows anymore--everything is haphazardly strewn about the plot. The top left picture I believe are pepper sprouts, and below that you can see my kale/ chard mezcla. I believe the purple sprouts are the blue kale and the focused green, crunchy-looking-leaf is chard... Additionally, I have no idea what is actually a vegetable/ flower sprout and what is a weed! I think the picture of the sunflower I took two weeks ago is actually a weed... How will I know how to keep my plot neat and clean?
Perhaps one might say my plot lacks direction, yet I am happy. I'm giving a new meaning to the term "garden-variety."