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Small Space Gardens

Small Space Gardens

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Small Space Gardens

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  1. Small Space Gardens By Lin Frye, Director Arboretum and LSG Program Johnston Community College

  2. Site Planning • Find niches • Locate house, lot, walk, fences in space • North • West (House) East • South • Locate existing trees, shrubs, fences and beds you wish to keep, trash cans, storage sheds, etc. • Mark sun and shadow pattern across space, prevailing winds • Consider family needs (i.e. play area for children), recreation, outdoor cooking, entertaining, meeting areas, privacy • Consider water source location, underground utility lines, septic tank and field • List your desires

  3. What do you want to plant? • Consider unconventional areas, i.e. lawn edges, for the things you wish to grow – vegetables, herbs, flowers • Consider sunlight and shade and a water source • Consider spacing requirements for your plants • Soil test, ph • Fertilizing • Compost • Native soil and amendments

  4. Small Scale Gardens • Raised beds • Benefits: drainage, warms faster, easier to work • Niches • Even the smallest of shaded places can be used

  5. Vertical Gardens • You can grow all vine crops vertically • Need garden supports (trellis, tall cages) • Can be combined with niches, square foot gardening and some containers

  6. Square Foot Gardening Based on the book by Mel Bartholomew “Square Foot Gardening” and French intensive gardening • Benefits: high yield, efficient, bountiful, minimal effort, small space • Intensive Gardening • Blocks of 4’ x 4’ raised beds separated by a narrow walking path • Good drainage

  7. Square Foot Gardens Lin Frye’s Home Gardens • Soil test – vegetables need 6-7 ph • Intercropping – importance of spacing, fertilizer, companion plants

  8. Soil Equal parts of coarse vermiculite, screened peat moss, coarse sand, decomposed leaf mold (or bagged compost), lime, fertilizer OR My formula for a 4’’ x 8’ x 1’ bed: 2 cu feet humus ½ to 1 pounds 10-10-10 slow release fertilizer ½ pound powdered dolomitic lime 8 cu feet peat moss 8 cu feet bagged compost (sterilized) 6 cu feet cow manure 6’ to 8’ soilless mix (Metro Mix 400)

  9. (Each block is 12 inches x 12 inches) Each square is planted with a different crop in each square (careful with spacing and crowding) Example: Pepper plants – one plant per 1’ sub block i.e. If you wanted to plant an entire 4’ main block in Pepper plants, you’d plant a total of 16 plants. i.e. To plant spinach plants – 9 per 1 foot sub block for a total 4’ bed of 144 spinach plants. NEVER WALK ON THIS GROWING MEDIUM! KEEP ADDING COMPOST TO KEEP YOUR SOIL IN TOP CONDITION!


  11. This system can be viewed at the Arboretum Kitchen Garden site. • Plant Spacings in a Square Foot Garden • A One-Person Garden

  12. Container Gardening • Benefits: Can follow the sun or move to shade if needed • Can add instant color to any area • Can have easy access to herbs and vegetables

  13. Container Gardening • Any container can be used • Clay, Plastic pot, Coffee Mug, Planter Box, • Soda containers or even old shoes • Make sure there are holes in the bottom of the container • Raise containers with holes off a solid surface to assist with drainage • If no holes – add ½” of small pebbles, gravel or broken crockery for drainage • Be sure to use a container large enough for the plant(s) you’ll be growing • Shallow-rooted crops (lettuce, peppers, radishes, herbs) – use containers at least 6” in diameter with an 8” soil depth • Bushel baskets, half barrels, wooden tubs are best for tomatoes, squash, pole beans, cucumbers.

  14. Container Gardening • Different soil, water, fertilizer and cultural requirements than plants in the ground • Special container mixes – Jiffy Mix, Super Soil, Pro-Mix, etc. • Requires “soilless mix” – containing: • An organic part: peat moss, sawdust, wood shavings, hardwood • bark or pine bark • Mineral part: vermiculite, perlite, pumice, builder’s sand, • granite sand or a combination of these

  15. SOILS • Special soils provide: • Fast drainage of water through the soil • Air in soil after drainage • A reservoir of water in the soil after drainage • Special soils do not usually contain fertilizer • Need to compensate for soil drying out faster in a container • Fertilizers leach with each watering • Must water and fertilize more frequently

  16. FERTILIZER • Slow release fertilizers (MAKE SURE IT’S BALANCED) • (10/10/10 – nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium) • Mix in with soil upon planting • Refertilize when plants flower • Refertilize if needed to help a second flowering • Or use a weak nutrient solution (i.e. Miracle Grow) – use only 1/5 the amount of fertilizer called for on the label for a monthly application

  17. WATERING • Water thoroughly after adding plant to container • After settling, soil should be ½” to 1” below rim of container • Water when soil dries or plant wilts • Use your finger to determine dryness of soil NOT calendar • Clay pots require more frequent watering than plastic or glazed pots • You can put one small pot in a larger one and insulate with peat moss, perlite or gravel • Group small pots together to help with evaporation • Don’t over water!!

  18. WATER (CONTINUED) • Wick Watering • Put one end of wick into pail of water and other in soil of the container (through the bottom hole of container). Use thick cotton string • Provides continuous supply of water and/or weak water/fertilizer solution • Can also invert a saucer, place over a water-filled container, and place pot on top of saucer • Can also use special wicking fabrics • Mist container plants with water to help provide the humidity

  19. CONTAINER PLANT SPACING • Check seed package for spacing requirements • Plant more seeds than needed because not all seeds germinate • Thin after germination for proper spacing • Place container in proper light • Amount of light is determined by what you’ll be growing • Anything with a flower or fruit MUST have at least • 6-8 FULL HOURS OF SUNLIGHT PER DAY • CONTAINER PEST CONTROL • Inspect weekly for pests • Slugs • Snails • Earwigs • Spider mites • Whitefly • Aphids • Move infected plants away from the others and treat insects accordingly

  20. Examples of Vegetables and the Suggested Container Size

  21. Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew • • Plants Available at the JCC Arboretum Plant Sale, Saturday, April 18, 9:00-2:00. Come early for best selection.

  22. FOR MORE INFORMATION • Call Lin Frye (919) 209-2052 • Call Minda Daughtry (919) 209-2184