32 square feet

Posted by on May 14, 2009 in farm | 12 comments

I think I've figured out this comments situation. I won't bore you with the details, but as of today I'm back to responding regularly. If you ask a question and I think others might like to see the response as well, I'll reply in the comments, but I'll also reply directly, so you should get an e-mail just like in the past.

Now for some (hopefully) more interesting stuff. I started working on a vegetable garden this past weekend. I've only been wanting to do this for the past five years. The promise of excellent pollination by the bees helped motivate me to finally just start. Thanks to the recommendation of my sister, I've decided to try square foot gardening. I'm starting with a 4×8 foot box, and I hope to add a couple more before the year is out. The book talks about how easy it is, and that may well be the case, but building the box was a little trickier than I expected. There was way too much cursing on my part, and I may have damned my drill to hell once or twice. Poor little drill, I didn't really mean it. With the help of Mr. HeyLucy, however, we worked it out and the next time should be a little easier. It turns out that redwood is really, really hard (doh! That's why it's suggested for use in outdoor projects), and my starter holes were not long enough or wide enough, and the screws just would. not. go. in. I kept stripping them. It's a good thing I have no plans to disassemble it any time soon.

I also planted some potatoes in trash cans. I don't remember where I first read about growing them that way, but the day after I planted them I got a link to this handy little video in my inbox. I had four kinds of seed potatoes, so I put two in each trash can. There are French fingerlings (a small, long, skinny red potato), Burbank russets, All Blue (also small like the fingerlings, but they have the prettiest purple flesh), and Yukon Golds.

This is not too impressive, but I'm swallowing my pride and showing you a picture of my weed-filled yard. Just remember that this is a before picture. I hope that an after picture by the end of Summer will show vast improvements. I labeled the important stuff. You might have to view it larger to read everything.


I'm excited to get planting this weekend.


  1. I am glad Winston has a place in the garden! I see he is an excellent watch dog!

  2. What a great idea to grow potatoes like that. I have been enjoying your bee posts, I can’t wait to see a jar of golden honey!
    Have a great weekend.

  3. I have raised beds without the boxes, because I can’t handle building boxes. Maybe some day 🙂
    I actually just have lowered paths.
    If you ever feel sad about your weeds just come to my blog and you will feel a lot better. I have weeds that are bionically (sp?) enhanced by our leach field 🙁
    I’m mentally sending you a lot of mint 🙂

  4. I am going to be doing square foot gardening this year, too! We have 4 4×4 boxes built, but no soil or seeds yet. Big plans, though. I have a friend that did hers last year with amazing results!

  5. I’m so glad to hear your friend had good results. It seems almost too easy
    (building my box aside), but my sister’s boxes were just overflowing too.
    I’m so excited to get some plants going. I have a few seedlings and lots
    and lots of seeds (collected over the last five years-I hope they still

  6. Oh, I know about the leach field weeds, we have them too! I got one little
    mint plant today on my lunch hour, I told it I would do my best to give it
    water if it would try to spread a little bit and not just give up and die
    like the last mint did.

  7. I know you mentioned what a pain in the butt drilling those boards were, but your wood will last- ours will rot and we will have the fun of doing it again – although, maybe we will have moved by then ? ha! You have a big backyard! Is that your shed in the background too? Our “garden area” is a weed pit, everywhere except in the raised beds. It looks nice and grassy in our backyard, but then when you get back there you realize that there’s an entire weed pit that should be just pine straw- yeah, oh well… I can’t wait to see what you do this summer with your garden. I love the compost bin.

  8. The shed is our neighbor’s (our shed is cuter, it matches our house) :o) The
    fence along the right side is the edge of our property. We don’t really have
    a backyard, our property is fenced all the way around, and the house is sort
    of toward the back of the lot. I’ll take more pictures from different
    angles. There are roads in front of and behind our house.
    We don’t even have the illusion of it looking nice and grassy, it’s just
    weedy. We also get some pretty high winds a couple times a year, so there’s
    all kinds of trash too. I’ll probably do a good clean up today.
    I’m glad we aren’t the only ones with weeds :o)

  9. Wow, Mel would be proud if he could see your box.:-)I should of had you talk to Mr. P about making the boxes. He did it a little bit differently and put a 4×4 post in each corner. I don’t recall him cursing at all, but then again, I wasn’t outside helping him. but even when he finished I don’t recall him being overly frustrated. Oh well. You have your box now. Another advantage I have found with squarefoot gardening is that you can even do it when you’re 8 months pregnant. No tilling or anything. Just dumping in some new compost and start planting again.
    I also got the Oh baby quilting book in the mail yesterday and it’s so cute. So many fun projects to make!

  10. hi excellent topic 32 square feet

  11. hey lucy great blog nice info let me add I don’t remember where I first read about growing them that way, but the day after I planted them I got a link to this handy little video in my inbox
    John B. Barnhart

  12. Hey
    wow 32 square feet thats huge It turns out that redwood is really, really hard (doh! That’s why it’s suggested for use in outdoor projects), and my starter holes were not long enough or wide enough, and the screws just would. not. go.
    John B. Barnhart

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