So you saw the beginning of the square foot garden boxes, but this is how they stand now:
We filled them with a peat/vermiculite/compost mixture, but we couldn’t find much compost so it’s mostly peat and about 1/3 vermiculite. We are trying to make our own compost, too… but who knows if we’ll get to use that before we move?
The mixture has proven to be REALLY good at retaining water, which is GREAT. I’ve gone out several times ready to water, but felt the soil and realized it was still “good” for a while. Quite good! Our squares are marked off and labeled with popsicle sticks, and we’ve made trellises over each row using wooden frames and nylon netting, so that our plants can grow vertically (since obviously they don’t have much room to spread out horizontally).
Also note that we’ve strung a soaker hose through the whole thing, so that we can turn it on for 20 minutes or so and have the soil be saturated without getting the plants themselves wet (which isn’t good for them and can make them more susceptible to rot and disease). Very convenient!
The little peas and beans are already starting to grab on to the netting, which is exciting, but we had a couple cold snaps and a few of the other plants died already. Mississippi has a way of tricking you into thinking Spring is here and then giving you 3 days of winter in a row. I’ve started some more “babies” inside and hopefully in a few weeks they’ll be ready to put into the boxes.
I almost can’t believe we’re putting all of this work into our garden when we’re likely moving in August. But thinking back to last year, we got a late start (end of May/beginning of June) and our plants all died when the summer got really hot (was it the end of July? Or August?) and we still managed to get decent crops out of them in between that time… so we’ll at least get SOME veggies out of it. And we’re definitely moving the boxes and soil with us! We’re going to get some of those big Rubbermaid containers for moving the soil… that vermiculite was way too expensive to waste!