Saturday, June 18, 2011

Comparing growing methods after one month

Welcome Kalipso, glad you are following, and welcome to everyone else who recently started following. I'm glad you are here. From now on, I'll do my best to acknowledge you, the readers, especially those who are new to my blog.

About a month ago I planted tomatoes and peppers using three different techniques.
1) Grow boxes

2) Square foot garden

3) And over at the Veggie plot a few miles away.

So far moisture has not been an issue between the gardens. The Growboxes do come with fertilizer strips, the Squarefoot garden is naturally fertile from all the compost, and the veggie plot we know is very fertile.

In the Growboxes
  • Tomatoes 
    • Celebrity - 24" tall, fruit and many blossoms
    • Roma - 18" tall, fruit, many blossoms
  • Peppers
    • Between 8 and 12" tall, no fruit loaded with blossoms

In the Squarefoot beds:
  • Tomatoes
    • Celebrity - 21" tall, fruit and many blossoms
    • Roma - 21" tall, fruit, many blossoms
  • Peppers
    • Between 8 and 18" tall, some fruit, many blossoms


Here's a shot of the garden behind the house, with the veggie beds surrounded by flower beds. Quite a difference from a month ago!

A quick drive over to the veg plot, some weeding and scratching - as expected this is a little neglected - but as we have had sufficient rain (and more on the way) things are growing - including the weeds!

  • Tomatoes
    • Celebrity - 23" tall, no fruit and some blossoms
    • Roma - 16" tall, 2 fruit and some blossoms
  • Peppers
    • Between 6 and 10" tall, 2 fruit, some blossoms 

And a shot of the whole garden...

Not much difference in growth between Growbox and SFG in terms of plant size, and the tomatoes at the veggie plot  are not far behind, but the peppers are relatively stunted.

Fruit production:
The difference so far between the Growbox and SFG is, in my mind, negligible, and the in-ground veggie plot lags behind.

Some of the difference might be explained by differences in light exposure between here and the veggie plot. Time will tell if any ground is made up, if the SFG can support larger plants later in the season, and if there is difference in long term fruit production. Stay Tuned!

Until next time, Keep Digging & Eat Well!

The Gastronomic Gardener
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  1. David, this is all very "scientific"! You'll be publishing a thesis on it next! :-)
    I expect you spend less time over at the veg plot these days, since you started the SFG.

  2. They look nice and healthy, wherever they are planted! I'd be happy to trade you pepper plants this year, mine are looking horrid. I've always had lovely pepper plants, so I'm doing a lot of sulking. They need some warmth, and here we are back down to 65F today, when we should be at 85.

  3. Thanks for sharing your observations. I really look forward to following your garden's progress.

    I too am trying some new techniques this year due to a HUGE spike in the cost of water in my town. I live in dry California so I am trying a few in ground methods that are known for conserving moisture. So far my tomatoes are outgrowing the ones in our front garden that are regularly watered!! We'll see what happens with mine as well as we get further into summer.

  4. Mark, I suspect you are correct. That plot does have the advantage of more space for vining plants to sprwl. It may become the melon and pumpkin patch in future years, especially if I expand the SFG here.

    Thanks Granny! We've vacillated between scortching hot and rain so far this season. Hmm I'll trade you 3 peppers for some lettuce!

    Thanks for stopping by Anonymous, I suspect water will one day be as vital as oil in someplaces so learning to produce crops efficiently is important. What methods are you trying?

  5. great info - wonder if there would have been a bigger diff if they werent raised beds??? hum. and i loved your clematis pix - they arent very common around here and i've always loved them. i saw them at a nursery and they were priced at over $20!!! i was used to them being $7 at the most! i had a Clematis Montana that was threatening to take over my house when i lived on the west coast.

    happy gardening and keep up the great work!

  6. Interesting question OFG. I have no way of knowing.. re clematis I love them, I have 6! I like to grow them on the fence so it is green not just bare wood.

  7. How about an update on how each method is doing. Inquiring minds want to know.


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