Our First Garden – Day 1


Posted on 23rd May 2011 by toothrough in Modern Gardening

Over the Winter we decided a good project for the kids this year would be a garden. We also thought it might get them to try some new veggies since they had a hand growing them. So off I went, on the recommendation of a gardening friend, to find the “All New Square Foot Garden” by Mel Bartholomew. I delved into the book immediately and loved the idea. Mel thinks he’s a little funnier than I do but the basics were there.

Once Spring was on the way, we priced out the wood and picked up all the compost, vermiculite, and peat moss to become accomplished gardeners. Of course by this time we had also become lazy gardeners and completely flaked on pre-starting peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes 12 weeks before the last frost. I mean really, how am I supposed to predict the last frost in THIS area? Anyway, cut to warmer weather and my loving husband building our boxes.

1st Gardening Box

1st of 3 Gardening Boxes

2nd gardening box

2nd of 3 Gardening Boxes

carrot boxes

Carrot Boxes

Next up was actually putting together “Mel’s Mix”. Clearly we didn’t anticipate the massive pile this mix would make in advance or we would have bought a bigger tarp. That was a lot to mix on our deck to try to keep on our teeny tiny tarp but we did it. First was the compost – four different types of compost to be exact. Then came the vermiculite and last but not least the peat moss.

compost mix

4 Types of Compost


Lots of Vermiculite

peat moss

Peat Moss

Then we mix. And mix. And mix until we get this:

mels mix

Mel's Mix, mixed

Now it’s time to get that mix into the boxes. Where are our little helpers? There they are with their little spades to fill the carrot boxes. By the time they got those boxes filled, they were over this experience and wanted to go in and have snacks. Sigh…

caleb scooping

Caleb Scooping Mix

abby scooping

Abby Scooping Mix


Abby and Caleb - after

At this point we called it a day. That was far more work than expected but strangely satisfying in the end.

James and I went ahead and filled the remaining boxes while wetting down the mix as we went. Here are all of our filled boxes.


Filled First Box


Filled Second Box


Filled carrot boxes

We got so excited and impressed with ourselves that we also decided to plant some flowers in our pots.




Pots with Mel

the family

The Family

We decided to stop here for the day because getting that much accomplished was exhausting.

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