Friday, March 14, 2014


Written by Carisa Stahl

Please pray for Mary, she had a tooth pulled today.

We have gardened a lot over the years and have tried various things. Today's post is about our plans for this year.

We've been busy planning our garden and working toward starting plants. Chuck set up 3 shelves with a florescent lights above each one- the top light does not show in this picture. A friend of Nathaniel's brought him 10 trays (for scrap metal) that a local fast food place was throwing out. They are perfectly fine except for looking grungy and 10 trays is exactly what fits under the grow lights. The top light does not show in this picture.

Jeffrey and I worked on modifying Styrofoam cups to start seeds in. There are  six slits cut in the sides of each cup- 3 from the bottom and 3 starting below the rim and going half way down.

Then you mix Styrofoam peanuts with your seed starter mix and put that in the cups. This helps the plants develop a very good root system. We did this about 25 years ago when we rented a farm house. The info for starting plants this way can be found in a book called NO DIG NO WEED GARDENING. 

This year we are going to try Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. His updated techniques can be found in ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING. His method uses mainly 4x4 beds. The middle can easily be reached from all sides and a trellis can go on one end. With SFG you grow your vining plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, melons, etc. on the trellis. With SFG you plant a variety of vegetables and flowers in each bed but just one type of thing per square foot. This helps the plants to have less disease problems. There are a lot of advantages to SFG.

Currently we have raised beds. Marking them out into one foot squares we have 246 square feet. We just need to come up with something to leave permanent grids on the beds. If we decide not to continue with chickens we'll have an additional 54 square feet to garden in. 

I used a spread sheet to mark out the square feet for each garden bed and printed out one garden bed per page. Then I marked where the trellis for each bed will go. I'm still praying about what to make the trellis' from.

We also have improved soil at the end of the house where I will use our 11 bean towers for tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, cucumbers, peas, and ground cherries (an annual fruit vine). We also have several feet in front of the sun room windows.

Last night I started marking each modified cup with what would be planted in it and what bed it will be planted in and even what square foot it goes in, in the bed. 

Before I progressed to far in my garden planning I decided that I had better study up on companion planting. I've been reading CARROTS LOVE TOMATOES & ROSES LOVE GARLIC. Some plants do well or even thrive by particular plants- others are not good to be planted by each other. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Carisa! What a wonderful post! With all the bad weather we've had here in Delaware this year we needed something to get us thinking about spring! I look forward to a tour of your garden this year!


I hope this post was a blessing to you and that you found something to help you in your daily walk with Christ. Would you please take a moment and share something that makes your home run more smoothly and aids you in your Walk with Christ? MarySmiles ;-)