Sunday, December 7, 2008

First Blog for Skip's Edible Garden

Well if I am going to start this blog, I might as well jump right in, even though it seems like an odd time to start a gardening blog in the fall/winter time. As an introduction, I live on the outskirts of Chattanooga, TN in the city of Ooltewah and garden or at least try to garden in the red clay. Since red clay is very difficult to work if the conditions are not just right, I have built raised beds and added a mix of topsoil, sand, shredded pine bark and mushroom compost. I started gardening here, after 25 years in south Florida, in 2002 and at first tried to cultivate the red clay by adding my own compost.

I had limited success and then I read Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening and decided to give his method a try.

I built a 4 foot square raised bed as Mel described in his book and planted beans, southern peas and tomatoes. The tomatoes were a success, but the beans and southern peas did not produce very well.

This past spring I built the raised beds pictured below and planted green beans, butter beans, southern peas, cucumbers, okra, peppers (bell and jalapeno) and lettuce. Much better success with the raised beds.

I know I have lots of work to do on how to write and layout a blog, but I hope to be able to post more shortly.


bettyinga said...

Ooltewah is a beautiful area - we attended many winterguard competitions there! Your bog and garden look great. We are in the same zone 7a so I look forward to seeing your garden grow. My SFG is small but I plan to expand this Spring.

Skip said...

bettyinga - Thanks for visiting my site. I agree Ooltewah is a beautiful area, especially after living in FL for years. I started SFG small also, but it sort of expanded as you can see. It is rather additive.


Elisabeth said...

Thanks for writing about your experience. I just obtained a second hand copy of Jeff Ball's 60 min vegetable gardenm and I'll be setting up my own 240 ft2 garden. Did you use plastic mulch on the soil?

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