100 square foot garden – Derwood 2015!

This is a guest post by Mary Anne Normile, Montgomery County MG heading the 100 square foot garden team at our demonstration garden.

As you walk down the main path of the Derwood Demonstration Garden, you may have noticed something different about the 100 Square Foot Garden. The last few years, the team has tinkered with variations on a basic four-square design, planted intensively to try to maximize vegetable production in a small space. This season a new design, conceived by MG and 100 Square Foot gardener Hope Dieckhans, allows for better flow and makes it easier to reach into the center of beds while providing greater visual interest.  The four corner beds, plus the central circular bed, total 100 square feet of growing area.

Our objective has changed slightly, too. Rather than demonstrating how to maximize production in a small space, this year we are trying to demonstrate ways to bring creativity into a small garden while growing a broad variety of vegetables and showcasing intensive techniques.

This year’s garden is an international garden, with each of the four corner beds devoted to growing vegetables found in Italian, Latin American, French, and Asian cuisines. The center circular bed is home to the “International Hub of Veggies,” with a bamboo teepee for growing vertical crops like peas, beans, or cucumbers. Using succession planting, a three-season garden is planned.

Broccoli and arugula in the Italian bed
Asian bed with bok choy, mustard, komatsuna and mizuna
Spring crops are currently featured, with arugula, broccoli, and fava beans in the Italian bed, cilantro, onions and lettuce in the Latin American bed, leeks, radishes, beets and spinach in the French garden, and Asian spring greens like mustard, choy and snow peas in the Asian bed.  Color is introduced with the addition of red lettuces, mustard, and Red Komatsuna (spinach mustard).

Latin American bed with onions, lettuce, cilantro
With the current warm weather, summer crops are beginning to be planted. Bamboo teepees support tomatoes, and a trellis is planned to accommodate cucumbers, pole beans, and cherry tomatoes.  We hope that you find the 100 Square Foot Garden an inviting place to visit and get ideas for your own small vegetable gardens.

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