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It’s Planting Time!

June 5th, 2013

This is the seventh installment in the 5×5 Garden Challenge Series. Every Wednesday I’ll be posting about the challenge, covering topics that will help all the new gardeners get started. If you haven’t heard about the challenge head on over to the 5×5 Challenge Website, we’ll also be putting up a page here that pulls in all the 5×5 Challenge posts.
5x5 garden challenge
This past weekend I seeded my 5×5 Challenge Garden. I started off by measuring off square foot sections of the raised bed. This isn’t a necessary step, you can plant your garden without making neat rows. I find it makes spacing easier when I measure it off in this way.  I started by laying a few yard sticks on the sides, then I simply drug a dowel from one side to the next to make my grid.
5x5 challenge garden 1
5x5 challenge garden 2
Back when I first started gardening in raised beds, I use tacks on the side of the beds and strung twine between the make a semi-permanent grid.
first raised bed in the garden
Since I had made up a plan earlier (see this post for my 5×5 Challenge Garden Plan), it only took me a few minutes to get all the seeds in the ground. One of the reasons I contacted Renee’s Garden about being a part of this challenge, is because she specializes in seeds for the small home gardeners. Many of her seed packets contain multiple varieties, the seeds are even color coded to make planting easy.
planting the 5x5 challenge garden 1
planting the 5x5 challenge garden 2
When you plant your challenge garden, use the spacing guides on the back of the packet. Since you’re growing a small garden, you only need to take note of the spacing guidelines mentioned between seeds. Disregard the row spacing requirements. Back when I was planting a few small raised beds, I had Mr Chiots make me a few planting guides with different spacing that were a square foot. As they grow, noticed whether this works in your soil. If your soil is great, you can get away with planting things closer. If your soil is lean, you might need to go a little farther apart. Using the guidelines on the back is a great starting point.
I noticed earlier this week that some of the seeds were already germinating. Of course the chickens managed to nab a few of the bean sprouts before I noticed, but they only got a few.
BJs 5x5 Garden
Yesterday afternoon, I even headed down to my neighbor’s house to help her plant her 5×5 Garden.

Any seeding questions from our newbies or advice from our seasoned gardeners?

7 Comments to “It’s Planting Time!”
  1. Robin on June 5, 2013 at 5:51 am

    Most of my transplanting is done but I haven’t started seeding yet. I’m hoping to get it all done tomorrow before the rain starts.

    Reply to Robin's comment

  2. Marina C on June 5, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Suzy, this is such a nice idea, getting even better every week, and I bet many more seasoned gardeners are almost envious of the fun the newbies are having and will have growing their first raised bed!
    You and Mr Chiot’s are really doing a great community service.
    I truly believe that anyone who has even only once grown something themselves will be a more savvy, demanding and mindful user of food.
    If we are going to preserve our food sources, we must all be stewards of the soil abd seeds, and you two are reaching a large audience.
    Thank you, again, for what you do!

    Reply to Marina C's comment

  3. Adelina Anderson on June 5, 2013 at 7:16 am

    I love the grid idea! Think that might be better than guessing the distance between plants.

    Reply to Adelina Anderson's comment

  4. Deb on June 5, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I never use string to plant the square foot gardening and wouldn’t want nails to nab my knees on as I many time put a knee pad down to kneel on. I just plant although i did read Square Foot Gardening. I don’t think it’s real important on how exactly close you are and I feel that space is wasted if youy follow exactly the recommendations, so I wing it. the closer the fewer weeds see sunlight. I have peas that will be ready in less than a week and beans are doing pretty good with coming up. Corn is 4 in. tall. Everything is planted except 8 tomato plants mom gave me that she ahd extra and I had some space left. I have about 50 tomato plants that I started myself so hope to have enough to make catsup this year. Started helping mom in the garden almost 45 yrs. ago and been doing it on my own for 31 yrs. or so. Having birds get my newly transplanted tomato and pepper plants so need some noise I guess.

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  5. Annie on June 5, 2013 at 10:06 am

    You gotta watch those chickens! lol! We noticed not very much of our okra ever came up from the first sowing, so my husband was resowing it the other day. He was busily going down the rows and just happened to look behind him for some reason and there, following him very, very quietly, was one of our hens carefully picking out the seeds he just planted! I really wish I had gotten a photo of that!

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  6. Nebraska Dave on June 5, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Finally, a day that I can get out in the garden. So much rain has really put my planting behind this year. From reading different blogs, it didn’t much good to try to plant early this year as many are having to replant. I did muck in a few things that seem to have survived fairly well but they really haven’t started growing much. There’s more rain on the way so I better get out there and plant something.

    Have a great day in the garden.

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  7. Julie on June 5, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I’m so sorry I’ve been absent! Our oldest just graduated from college, the littles have just finished the school year, and this past weekend, we had hundreds of people traipsing around our gardens for our Upstate Farm Tour (with our property as an example of what can be grown in the subdivision “mini-farm.”) I will check in right now with the site, since I’m supposed to be mentoring! Eeek! Apologies!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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