Introducing the Krause-Wannamaker square foot garden

Square foot gardening:  building the boxWe’re trying a new gardening experiment this year: a long version of a Squarefoot Garden to suit the space we have. We don’t have a lot of sun, and this narrow space between our house and our neighbors (out of the picture, but probably less than ten feet away) is actually the only part of our yard where we’ve had any luck growing tomatoes over the years; thus this modification, which is two feet wide and sixteen feet long.

Of course, we can’t even think about planting much (maybe some seeds? maybe stuff like chard?) until after Mother’s Day because of frost and the like.

Depending on how commenting on essays, meeting with students, and generally wrapping up the term goes next week, I might be able to work up a batch of “Mel’s mix,” which is 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculite. This might actually be the most tricky part of the whole process. Home Depot didn’t have vermiculite, and it seemed a little pricey when I asked about it at the Ann Arbor Home and Garden store; of course, that is easily the most expensive and/or over-priced store in town. Stay tuned….

3 thoughts on “Introducing the Krause-Wannamaker square foot garden”

  1. Have you whipped up that batch of Mel’s yet? If so, where did you source all the ingredients? Do tell! We’re in the process of building out our first square foot gardens this week. Thanks!

  2. I have indeed mixed up some Mel’s mix, which is 1 part peat moss, 1 part compost, and 1 part vermiculite. The vermiculite was the hard to find and kind of costly ingredient; the best deal I could find on that was at Downtown Home and Garden downtown Ann Arbor. It’s a cool store with cool people if you’ve never been.

    What I have found so far is that one bail of peat moss, 2/3 or maybe less of a bag (a cubic yard? I’m not sure) of vermiculite, and about 160 pounds of compost/manure was enough for my 32 square foot garden. As a result, I’ve got enough ingredients left over to probably make the same amount volume-wise, which I’m going to do soon (probably Friday and Saturday) to pot plants and window boxes. Anyway, what I’m getting at is that is is definitely parts by volume, and peat moss and vermiculite take up a lot more volume than compost.

    Today, Annette and I went out and bought plants at Block’s Stand and Greenhouse out by the Detroit Airport. It is well worth the trip because they have everything (well, at least plant-wise) and because it is by far the cheapest place around. I’ll post some pictures of that soon!

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