Thursday, May 21, 2009

How I Plot my Garden

Perhaps one of my fondest childhood memories was having a garden. I loved the miracle of planting a tiny seed and watching it grow. It was amazing to me that from a tiny seed, you could feed a family.

When we bought this house, I was thrilled that there was a garden area in the corner! The very next spring I started planting. I planted pumpkins, peas, carrots and onions. I made cute little garden markers and laminated them and was so excited to see my garden flourish. It didn't. So, I tried again the next year, a little hap heartedly I might add, (I was still crushed from my first year's failure) with still no luck. Then a neighbor told me that his brother had great results using the Square Foot Gardening Method by Mel Bartholomew. (Here is the book)This is such a great book! Especially for beginning gardeners. The book totally spells it out for you; from how big to make your garden, to how to plot it, what to plant, and even what to put into your soil to make your plants grow to their potential. Last year, I had my first successful garden!

There are many reasons why I love to garden, but one of the main reasons is that it is hard work that requires the whole family to help out. I can see why my parents chose to do a garden. It taught us to work hard, work together, and the very important lesson of reaping what you sow. These lessons are important for me to teach to my children, and it is the main reason I will keep a garden every year for the rest of my life.

Onto how I plot my garden:
Here is a picture of what my garden looks like today. My husband built me this raised garden bed last year, and this year he divided it into squares for me. He hammered in a nail every 12 inches and then tied twine to each nail that was across from the other. Easy as that!

Here's what's planted:
Here is how I decided where I would plant the vegetables and what I would plant. I just drew a simple grid on lined paper. The Square foot gardening book talks about how many of each vegetable can fit in each square, and that's how I draw it out.

Here was my rough draft from this year.

Here was 2008's plot:

Hayden thought this plotting stuff looked fun, so he made his own! I think this is the cutest thing I've ever seen.

This week, I'm trying to talk my husband into building me two 4x4 raised beds. I think it would be so awesome to have a salsa garden and a strawberry patch. We LOVE to make freezer jam, and fresh strawberries from the garden would just be the sweetest thing. We shall see what this weekend brings...


  1. your garden looks awesome! I'm excited to see it when stuff is growing. We planted ours too! I'll have to keep ya posted!

  2. Ahhhhh!!!! You rock Brandi! I have been on my hubbie's tail end since we bought our house over starting a square foot garden. I just need him to build me the beds :) I even thought about asking my nice retired neighbor to build them for me since Jeff keeps making excuses not to :)

    Thanks for starting your new blog - you are such an amazingly talented woman and I wonder how you manage to be such a phenomenal mamma plus do so many fun crafts, raise chickens, your you sleep?! lol.

  3. Heidi, I'm excited to see how your garden does!

    Jody--I don't know why, but my husband hates doing things like that, too. I told him today that I'm just going to go to Lowe's, pick out the wood, have them cut it down to the size I want, and I'll make them myself. I really doubt I'll have time to do that. Right after I sleep, huh! :) You are really sweet. Thanks for the comment.