I thought I would show you the contrast in gardening styles in my community garden this year. Above is the view from the back of my half of the garden. As in, my little plot is in this half. This is not all mine. My plot is near the front entrance. You can see my pink strings and the squash house.
|My garden: Noah's Ark of the produce department.|
This was my allotment just after weeding on June 14, 2013. All that hard work and it is full-o-weeds again this week. I'm buying straw tomorrow!
I planned my garden for months (though the plan has someone gone to pot at this point) using the square foot gardening method and careful to observe companion planting methods. I didn't actually make string squares because that seemed like a big pain. But that's how I spaced and arranged my plants. My tomatoes are looking super healthy and I'm elated! They are growing taller every day and the leaves are that nice dark green!
Above is the garden in the very front on my side. This is the only plot between me and the front fence (to the right in this photo). This gardener does not seem very friendly so far. But I'm going to try to let the season shake out before making my final call on his personality. He only plants corn, tomatoes and a few radish.
On one hand, I've never seen corn grow from start to finish, so I'm excited to see it happen. On the other hand, corn grows TALL and I am worried it will shade out my garden that is next to his. Also, sweet corn is both incredibly delicious and incredibly inexpensive at every farm stand around here. So I don't know why you would waste your time and very limited space to grow it. But I am told this has been his system for ages so what do I know.
This is the garden just up from me. See my fence line? He seems to have no actual method in place. 13 tomato plants and a cluster of seeds (I think cucumbers and maybe some flowers?). He never even shook the weeds out of his soil so I am curious to see how his garden does. His tomato plants look really healthy though. He's an odd duck. When I first met him he spent 20 minutes telling me everything I was doing wrong and that all my plants were going to die and I planted things too late (I planted before him) and on and on and on.
This is the front garden on the other side. So across from Mr. Corn grower. Another long time gardener who planted MUCH earlier than me. See the hills for veggies? That's the more typical method in this garden. They also used straw to keep out weeds and keep in moisture. As I said...tomorrow! This gardener was very sweet and has given me lots of pointers so far. Her plants are super healthy!
This is another super sweet gardener. Also uses the hills for planting and straw. And also has super mature and healthy plants. She has a little back part that has a huge squash growing and strawberries! My plot came with strawberries but it was too much trouble to keep them and pull weeds at the same time. So they were sacrificed. Sadly! But above is probably my favorite plot (other than mine) in the garden.
This is the plot of my garden leader. She used fabric cloth instead of straw. I like the look of the straw better for some reason. Plus you can leave it to turn into compost over the winter.
This gardener is another long timer. But he apparently isn't going to be here much this summer. So do you see that field of green grass-looking stuff? That's all garlic! All of it! There must be hundreds of heads of garlic! I have no idea what one does with that much garlic. Pickle it, I guess. Maybe he will donate a lot to our Veggie Mobile. But garlic was a good choice because you basically plant it in the fall and harvest end of summer.
This is another really nice garden and gardener. Her rhubarb pant is enormous and super pretty! I'm jealous. Again...hills.
And this gardener cracks me up. She's super sweet- I've met her twice. But apparently she has trouble keeping up with things. I think she got a weed warning. You can barely make out her actual plants among the enormous weeds. But she's nice and her plot is in the very back, so it doesn't bother me one bit.
There's one more gardener but I guess I forgot to take a photo. Another time. But that's a good overview of the different styles. Lots of that hilling up going on. Lots of straw. But overall, lots of healthy plants regardless of style and method.
How is your garden (or small pot) doing so far? Do you have any secrets to keeping up with the weeds? Have you ever tried the square foot gardening method? Any tips?