Sowing seeds was one thing I was really excited about. I wanted to jump right it with that, but knew better. It does take a little planning. As I have written, I am following the Square Food Gardening technique, which will help me with planning. In this method you place a grid in your garden and divide it up into 1'x1' squares.
I got my grids at the Square Food Gardening Shop for $14.99 each. I am sure you could make them rather cheaply but I wanted to see how they made theirs. I actually really like them. They fit in my garden perfectly and wood will be sturdier than string, but you could totally do it with string for probably about $5 total for both gardens. Hmmm, that's sure a money saver! Maybe I will do that when these wear out. They should last for a long time, though.
The whole idea about square foot gardening is placing one crop into each square. How many seeds you put in a square depends on the crop. It ranges from just one plant for things like cauliflower to 16 plants for things like radishes. Things like lettuce are four plants, etc. I had 32 squares at my disposal so I went online to see if I could find something to help me organize this. Luckily I did at GrowVeg.com.
GrowVeg.com has this fantastic program for organizing your garden whether a traditional row garden or a square foot garden. It comes with a 30-day free trail which is ample time to plan your garden. You can also join the site for only $25 per year. That's a great price. The garden planner has all you need to plan your garden. You select your crop, drag it to your grid and it tells you exactly how many plants go in each square. That's just the beginning as the garden planner has many features that I haven't even tried yet. For this time, I just wanted to plan my garden and get planting remembering that this year is my experiment year. If I get too caught up in planning I am never going to plant. It took me a couple of nights to get my garden organized the way I wanted it. Once I did that I was almost ready to plant. Just one more thing. I needed markers.
Having plant markers in my garden was Joey's idea and a good one at that. In everything I have read online, strangely that never came up! With 32 squares I want to know what's planted where. To get my markers I went to eBay and got just the right ones. These hard oak markers were $4.66 for a set of 12. They are sturdy and really easy to write on. The seller got them right out to me in a flash and packaged them really well which is always appreciated.
Before I headed down to my garden I wrote out each plant name on a marker. I also wrote the corresponding square number on the top left corner of the packet and the number of plants per square in the top right. While this may seem super anal, it really saved time when I got to the garden. I knew exactly what was going where without having to flip through pages. I also have to say that this little exercise got me more familiar with what I was planting before I planted it. It was a very enjoyable part of the process.
Planting the seeds took me about 30 - 45 minutes. One planted I gave my garden a good watering. That's really important when you first plant your seeds. In fact I will be gardening it every day to keep the soil moist. The great thing about square foot gardening soil is that you can't overwater apparently. That's good news for me!
My garden is planted! Now I just need to wait for my beans to sprout!