Sunday, April 22, 2012

Inspiration and Filling My Potager

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I spent Saturday with my oldest at UIUC for Mom's Weekend.  While we were there, we visited their inspiration garden where the cool season veggies are already in full swing and, while Champaign is about three weeks ahead of Chicago in the growing season, I was reminded that I needed to finish our potager so that I could get the garden started. So, today, that's exactly what I did!

In case you missed it, directions on how I built my potager are here

First, I lined the box with pond liner (you could also use heavy plastic). Then, make a diagonal cut in the bottom 2 inches of a 2-3 inch diameter PVC pipe. and stand it in one corner of the box. This will act as your watering tube.

In the opposite corner, using a drill with a spade bit (big circle drilling bit) drill through the side wall about 3 inches from the bottom and install a piece of 1 inch PVC pipe through the wall and the liner. This will act as an "overflow" in case of heavy rain.
Fill the bottom 3 inches of the box with gravel and tamp it until it's flat and smooth. Lay a piece of screen on top of the stone and wrap some of it around end of the overflow tube. The will act as a barrier so that the soil doesn't completely clog up the stone or the overflow tube.
Calculate how much growing medium (soil)  you need. Here is an Easy calculator. Then, fill the remainder of the box with growing medium.  I chose organic growing medium that was pre-mixed.
You can also mix your own using the following recipe:
35% compost, 35% Peat, 30% Sand. Add a little garden lime, a bag of earthworm castings and some fish emulsion fertilizer, mix well and fill the box with it.

After it's full, just plant  it with your favorite vegetables and herbs. I have a separate herb garden so my potager currently contains the following:
Sugar Snap peas                  Yellow Zucchini                Green Zucchini                 Yellow Squash
Red  Pepper                        Roma Tomato                  Grape Tomato                    Bush Beans                   
Green Pepper                      Sweet Tomato                  Heirloom Tomato               Sweet Onion
Celery                                Head Lettuce                     Red  Onion                       Green Onion
Red Leaf Lettuce               Green  Leaf Lettuce            Garlic                                Carrots
Mixed Leaf Lettuce           Heirloom  Leaf Lettuce        Carrots                              Radishes
 After the plants are in, water well by filling the watering pipe until you can see about 2 inches of water standing in the bottom.



Then hope for some sunshine and warm weather!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

xo,

S

Linking to:
Centsational Girl