Tutorials

Home/Tutorials

Square Foot Gardening

Spring means planting season in Central Pennsylvania and it’s a time of year when the ground awakens and locals dream of beautiful gardens filled with color and hearty vegetables. Farmers are out walking the fields and gardeners grow restless with anticipation of the coming season. Whether our customers come in by engine or buggy, everyone is asking the same big question- “What can I plant now?“

The spring season in Lancaster County is often difficult to decipher. Days in March awaken to a frost and thaw out to an average of 55°F. Our evenings tend to drop down below 40 and often land in the 30’s. For that reason, frost is a concern in the horticulture world and can be fatal to freshly planted seedlings that are not protected from these extreme temperature ranges. Plants that are not cold tolerant will show signs of stress and may experience irreparable harm.

Luckily, the natural world is a beautiful and tolerant place that offers hardy plants the ability to adapt and grow in even the most unpredictable days of spring.

So come to Ken’s Gardens and fill the wagon with an assortment of cold tolerant plants waiting to feel the touch of morning sunshine.

cold-tolerant-wagon

Ken’s Gardens has cold tolerant seedlings on the self and currently recommends the following cold tolerant vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot
  • Hardy Herbs
  • Lettuce
  • Mustards
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Swiss chard

Our complete vegetable inventory for 2016 can be found here.

 

However, not all seedling varieties are on the shelves. Mid-April will bring the release of our entire Tomato collection and May will start the beginning of our early summer vegetables. We greatly appreciate your patience as we grow from seed to seedling.

Our Ronk’s location has the perfect example of how a garden can look when planted in early March. Sitting in front of our green roof shed is a 4×4 square foot box. This garden style is called “Square Foot Gardening”. It’s a simple approach to gardening and utilizes every inch for efficient growing, leaving behind the space waste of row gardening.

green roof & square foot garden

 

This box of cold tolerant annuals and vegetables were planted on March 8th, 2016. It was as EASY as 1-2-3. Here’s how we did.

Easter Resurrection Garden Tutorial

Hi there! Easter Sunday is coming up, and we have made some Easter Resurrection Gardens to honor the holiday.

An Easter resurrection garden is a symbol of Jesus rising from his tomb. They portray the scene that Mary Magdalene saw, a tomb with a stone to be rolled away on Easter Sunday.

Resurrection gardens are typically made with rye grass, or can be made more decorative with preserved moss and violas. Here we will be showing you how we make both types resurrection gardens.

Start with your container, I love how terra cotta bowls and saucers look for these. A deeper bowl is great for a viola type garden, while a saucer works well for the grass type gardens. You can always combine grass and violas with moss, but go with the deeper dish.

DSCN0094 DSCN0095

 

Materials:

  • twigsDSCN0102
  • florist wire or jute twine (to create the crosses)
  • small terra cotta pot
  • large river rock
  • pebbles
  • the ground cover and plants of your choice

 

 

 

If your container has a drainage hole at the bottom, you will want to cover it up so that no dirt or water leaks through. Newspaper, cardboard, and duct tape all work well to prevent anything from falling out.

DSCN0106

(Optional: lay an inch of gravel at the bottom to help with drainage before adding soil.)

 

Next, fill your container with soil nearly to the top. Set the terra cotta pot into the soil on an angle to have it look like a tomb like so:

DSCN0107

Add some more soil to cover the end of the small terra cotta pot.

Next add your moss or seed. If you are adding seed, rye grass takes 7 days to grow (the fastest out of the grasses). You will want to mist the soil with water before adding seed to help the seeds stick. Sprinkle the seed to cover, but not completely so that there is no soil visible. Mist again once you’ve finished adding seed.

DSCN0099 DSCN0096

Create a well for the violas in the soil. Squeeze the bottom of the viola pack to pop them out, and massage the roots before placing the flowers into the well. Add or move soil to finish adding the violas. Preserved moss can just be laid on top of the soil, gently spread out the moss to get a more spread and even coverage.

DSCN0108 DSCN0110

The crosses are next, tie the twigs together with ample twine or wire and cut any excess. Purple string is also a great optional touch. Add the crosses to the garden, some small pebbles surrounding the base of the crosses aides to stabilize the crosses. Spread pebbles in front of the tomb as well, enough to cover the soil.

DSCN0111 DSCN0112DSCN0113

For the finishing touch, add your large river rock in front of the terra cotta “tomb”. You can write any Easter sayings that you wish, bible verses or a simple “he arose” with a permanent marker.  Roll the river rock from the tomb on Easter Sunday to symbolize that Christ has risen.

DSCN0114

Ken’s Gardens joins you in gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice and the joyful renewal it brings God’s children this Easter!