Winter vs Summer
I mentioned in a previous SFG post that, according to my research, if you live in the tropics, you can plant anything, anytime.
Well, you can plant it, but it won’t grow.
This is what I think: there are two seasons in the tropics – winter, when most plants are dormant, and summer, when they wake up and take off with a vengeance!
I planted my Square Foot Garden bed in July, and the only things that produced a crop, were the snow and sugar snap peas, and the bush beans – I guess they’re a winter crop.
Most of the other seeds germinated, but the seedlings remained tiny until very recently.
I’ve had 3 failures – despite having tried three different Roma tomato varieties (a number of times), they have yet to germinate. I’m also having trouble with germinating the English spinach and Cos lettuce.
But I refuse to give up – there are hundreds of seeds in those little packets, and if I have to sow every last one of them, I will!
Harvest and Growth
After tasting the peas and beans, we finally understood why people grow their own vegetables – they were unbelievably sweet and tender – we became addicted, and ate them every night.
Sugar snap peas in their prime
The very first harvest – not many, but delicious all the same
I initially planted one square of bush beans (9 per square), and seven squares of peas (4 per square) – this yielded enough for the two of us over a couple of months.
I’ve since planted two more squares of bush beans, and have just replanted the square that got infested with mealy bugs.
Diseased bush bean square
Most of the pea plants are dead – I’m not sure if it was the heat, the dreaded mealy bugs, or simply that the season is at an end, as we were overseas when they started dying. I’m letting the remaining pods dry on the vines, so I’ll have more seeds for next year.
As an experiment, I recently planted a few sugar snap peas to see if they’ll grow through the summer.
I bought 3 small basil plants to go near the tomatoes, as basil is supposed to aid in their growth.
As I mentioned, the Roma tomatoes have yet to make an appearance, and the Grosse Lisse tomato has only just started to grow – in the meantime, the basil has gone berserk – I’m going to have to make pesto, or give some to our local Italian restaurant – way too much for the two of us!
I didn’t find either vermiculite or peat moss before I started planting, so the soil is a mix of topsoil and compost.
I’ve since bought a bag of potting mix made from fertilised peat moss, and spread that around the seedlings.
Then I found perlite and coco peat – as I replant each square, I’ll mix some of both into the soil to aid with water retention.
For those of you living here – all of them were from Lolo Supermarket in Morcellement St André.
Now that the plants are actively growing, I’ve started watering them with a seaweed extract every couple of weeks.
Herbs: basil, oregano, mint, parsley, thyme, spring onions (scallions), dill (not doing well – I think it’s rotting)
Veggies: carrots (baby), bush beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas, silverbeet (Swiss chard), parsnips, red onion, celery, Chinese celery, Grosse Lisse tomato, Roma tomato (one day), cos lettuce (also one day), English spinach (ditto), iceberg lettuce, capsicum (peppers), hot chilli
All that in a 5×10 foot space, and there are still plenty of empty squares.
So, as the bulk of it’s growing, I’d call it a successful first foray into the wonderful world of Square Foot Gardening.
I need a life.
A cage to keep the mynah birds away from the strawberries
One of the carrot squares and silverbeet
Parsley and spring onions
Lettuces in the forefront
Tomato dwarfed by basil plants
Shaded from the afternoon sun
If you’re interested in starting a Square Foot Garden, this website is the one I used to gather all the information I needed – it’s a one-stop shop!