My Square Foot Garden and August in Florida

Here we are at the beginning of August! The weather last week was significantly less humid thanks to a cold front that moved in. Don’t get me wrong, the humidity is still bad, and the heat leaves me drenched within 15 minutes of starting yard work, but the air isn’t overly thick. In fact, it leaves me very ready for the more mild fall weather that I know is just around the corner.

This weekend, with the help of my wonderful husband, I finished both of my raised beds. Almost all of my August planting is done as well, so now I just have to wait until September to plant some of the cool weather veggies.

My little suburban farm!

My little suburban farm!

My friend Angela (owner of Hemstitch Vintage in Pensacola) told me about the Square Foot Garden method sometime last month. Before I knew about this method, I had created a plan for my fall garden that didn’t exactly allow for a plethora of plants. When you take a look at the space some plants need, you feel like you can’t really plant all that you’d like, and it’s hard to plant right in the ground here in Florida. The area around my house, at least, is very sandy. With my new plan, some of the space hogging plants (like squash) are grown vertically. I use a variety of arches, trellises, and stakes to make the most of my space. Also, the garden soil is a mix of equal parts compost, vermiculite, and peat moss which makes up for the lack of natural soil around my house. Apparently weeds are practically nonexistent with this style of gardening!

Of course, another big facet of square foot gardening is to divide your planter into square feet. 32 lovely squares for my veggies to grow in!  This arch will (hopefully) hold both butternut squash and small sugar pumpkins by the end of the year!

Of course, another big facet of square foot gardening is to divide your planter into square feet. 32 lovely squares for my veggies to grow in!
This arch will (hopefully) hold both butternut squash and small sugar pumpkins by the end of the year.

I developed my plan with the help of this website. It tells you how many plants you’re able to plant per square, and it also tells you if you need more than one square for a certain plant. Four broccoli plants, for instance, take up nine squares. My plan below is a rough guide to show where my plants are on the grid. The singular squares on the right are pots filled with the same mix as the raised beds.

My Square Foot Garden plan.

My Square Foot Garden plan.

I’m excited to see the little seedlings emerge here in the next few weeks. I’m hoping that staking the squash will also help reduce the vine borers that destroyed my squash earlier this spring. Of course, I’ll update my blog as the season goes on!

C'mon little guy! Time to grow!

C’mon little guy! Time to grow!

Praying mantis hanging out. Hopefully he's praying for some raspberries to show up on the bush he's currently occupying!

Praying mantis hanging out. Hopefully he’s praying for some raspberries to show up on the bush he’s currently occupying!

 

Heirloom Organic Trucker's Favorite Pink Tomato from Moonlight Micro-Farm.

Heirloom Organic Trucker’s Favorite Pink Tomato from Moonlight Micro-Farm.

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