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The 100 square foot garden challenge. Over on the University of Maryland Grow It Eat It page.

I was asked last year if I would participate this year. With my big garden, I had to think about how to carve out 100 square feet and show what I am growing in that contained area.

I think I have it all configured, and I will be blogging about what you can do in only 100 square feet.

Like grow potatoes.

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In six sq ft in a container in my backyard.

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You start with this. Put them about one foot deep in a bucket or trash can (with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage). Keep adding soil as they grow. Dump them out when you are ready to harvest (once the foliage starts to die back). I put in about half a dozen potato pieces. Some are fingerlings. A couple are Yukon gold. I use CSA potatoes because they aren’t treated and they will sprout.

Then there’s the lettuce.

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I bought a six plant market pack of butterhead lettuce. Put it inside a bunny fence. I have harvested six heads of lettuce, and they keep regenerating if you cut them just above the soil. Don’t pull them out. I should get at least another half dozen heads of lettuce. This circle is another six square feet.

Only twelve feet used.

I then marked off a 5×6 section of my community garden. Put in tromboncini, Thelma Sanders pumpkin and a handful of tomato plants. A couple of San Marzano. Supersweet 100s. Cherry. A nice mix.

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It doesn’t look like much yet, but it should give me lots of salad tomatoes and some canning tomatoes. The tromboncini are a heirloom squash. Just wait til you see what they produce.

I marked off a 3×15 foot section with cucumbers, zucchini, leeks, onions and arugula.

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This is part of it, and then I went perpendicular for 3 feet by 3 feet to bring in the shallots and my lone pepper plant.

All together I am up to 96 square feet. I have a two by two option left, so I added the herbs.

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Some sage, thyme, chives and dill are bunched up there. I already made chive blossom vinegar using a cup of chive blossoms and 12 ounces of white wine vinegar.

I will keep track of what this 100 square feet produces.

So far, the lettuce, onions and herbs are being harvested. I did find my first zucchini blossom today.

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Here’s to fresh vegetables in a small amount of real estate.

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

4 responses »

  1. Looks like a fun mix of vegetables and herbs for your challenge. I like taking the chive blossoms apart and sprinkling them on the salad. Will try your chive blossom vinegar idea as well.

    Is the pepper a sweet or hot one?

    Do you have tips for keeping the cucumbers disease free?

    A couple of the 2014 100SF garden challengers that kept track of their yields by weight had yields of 400+ pounds of diverse vegetables in 6 months.

    Some people are also doing some other mini-challenges as part of their 100SF challenge:
    *Ethnic cuisine themed gardens or beds
    *52 week salad challenge–at least one salad a week every week
    *Average 5 servings of vegetables a day from the bed. Some people froze, canned, dried, or pickled the excess for weeks that produced more than 35 servings of vegetables and then shifted the eating of those to the less bountiful weeks.
    *Calculating the cost of buying the same yield in the store/stand.

    Any of your fellow HCC gardeners taking the challenge?


    • The pepper is a garden salsa variety, definitely hot. Keeping the cukes healthy is a challenge.

      I told a few people about the challenge. Don’t know if they are doing it.

      I will be counting and/or weighing what I get. I just count things like onions and lettuce. I tend to weigh things like squash, potatoes and tomatoes.

      It should be fun.

  2. How did it all work out in the end?

    • I never did a complete count of the garden. We lost quite a bit to the wet month of June, trashing my zucchini, cucumbers and many of the onions.

      I only got a handful of tromboncino, as well.

      I will try again this year, with a new location, which I hope drains better.


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