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SQ foot container garden ready and waiting...

Posted by fisheggs 5 NY (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 25, 09 at 17:27

Hi all,

I've been lurking for a while and have really enjoyed reading the posts about what people are doing in their gardens, especially those in warmer climates!

I'm starting my first square foot garden this year, although it's really in containers, not directly on the ground. This is because I wanted to use the only sunny spot in our yard, which is next to a 1.5' to 3' high retaining wall on the side of our driveway. Building a box that high and filling it with soil was going to be expensive, and I was also concerned about leaching from the old landscape timbers used to make the wall. So - we built 2 standalone boxes, 2 foot by 5 foot each, and are going to give those a try. We have TONS of deer, so you'll see some not terribly attractive mesh enclosures in my pictures.

Here is an overview, with my little ikea greenhouse for the tomato seedlings (just out for the morning since it was warm here today):

Here's a view from the back, showing some of the engineering challenges we faced on our steep hillslope:

We stained the outside, not the inside. The trellis (for two tomato plants and 4 squares of sugar snap peas, hopefully) is screwed to the frame in a bunch of spots, and feels pretty sturdy, especially once the chicken wire was attached to three sides to help square off the whole thing. I'll only have access from the driveway side, but that is probably fine and will also make the deer issue a bit easier to mitigate.

We're planting (most seeds from Johnny's):
(in the sunnier of the two boxes)
one square of "Wonder Light" yellow tomatoes
two squares of "Apero" cherry tomatoes
two squares each of "Atitlan" and "Sugar Sprint" sugar snap peas
one square of a yellow husk tomato (like a tomatillo)
two squares of okra

(In the shadier box)
one square of strawberries
two squares of spinach
one square of cilantro
one square of basil
three squares of carrots
two square garlic chives

Of course, then I went and spilled my packet of cilantro over the entire box!!! Fortunately it was easy to pick those big seeds up.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: SQ foot container garden ready and waiting...

Constructing a raised bed on a slope can be quite a challenge, as all of mine are that way. Question.....Is there a particular reason that you only planted 2 squares of okra? I did 20 last year, and it was barely enough for our family.


RE: SQ foot container garden ready and waiting...

:) I'm sure it won't be enough for us - I just had very limited space in my tiny little window greenhouse (it's the one in the picture), so I only have 4 okra plants.

Also, I'm new to gardening in New York, so I figured I'd go for as many types of plants as I could to see what did well. I'm from California originally and am still getting used to not being able to plant things whenever I want to!

RE: SQ foot container garden ready and waiting...

Seeing what works in your new location is an excellent idea....


RE: SQ foot container garden ready and waiting...

Nice to see another New Yorker. We just build our first SFG this year too. And yes, we have sloping land too. You must also have rocks, like we do.

Please share which plants work well for you, and which ones struggle. I'm originally from Seattle, and trying to get a sense for what grows best in NY.

RE: SQ foot container garden ready and waiting...

Peas are up! Interestingly, all four sprouted in each box on one side of the garden, but we only have two so far in each box on the other side. I planted one of each variety in each side, so that I'd get a better idea of how they did in the slightly different lighting conditions.

I've been so envious of all of the warmer climate gardens that are already producing! On the other hand, we had a fantastic set of bulbs in the neighborhood this year and those of us in cold areas get to really enjoy things like the Forsythia when it blooms.

Note: my mix compacted about an inch in the past few weeks since I put it in, but the boxes are pretty deep so I still have over a foot.

RE: SQ foot container garden ready and waiting...


We have sun today!! Which is good, since for the past two weeks it's been mostly rainy and cloudy. My garden is looking so sad compared with the lovely ones I see posted here!

Tomatoes: about 8 inches high
Okra: Still only 2 leaves, not looking fantastic
Snap peas: Climbed about 2 feet high, no flowers yet
Carrots: Finally have feathery sprouts that really look like carrots!
Cilantro, basil: No sign of life. Bought basil at store instead.

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