Sunday, October 26, 2008

My garden

I love this garden. It's 12x25 (each terrace is 5 ft deep). This past spring, we added 2 more courses to the logs because it was too far into the ground (hard to work the ground that way). I do regret using treated timbers, as we are growing organic. Its all we could afford. We did line the bed walls, but still...

Anyway, here are some pictures!

staked out in the background - Sp. 2007
-Our dirt in our area is full of clay. When we dug in to start each bed, we were digging in clay that you could practically throw a pot with. We were planting late already, so we used our clay for dirt - nothing really grew - got about 4 pumpkins, a few meals of corn on the cob and very small potatoes. Oh, and some lettuce and peas and beans. And I forgot to thin the carrots.

Sp. 2008 after add-on, before dirt

Dirt. Supposed to be 10 yds black, then we were going to get 5 yds. compost. So much for that - the guy delivered WAY too much! We only could use 4 beds this year because we didn't get to the pile left in the bottom bed. Put it this way - after each bed was filled with 8 more inches of dirt, that pile didn't look much smaller! (We are storing quite a bit on the TOP of the hill now - ugh - lots of work!)

-is is just me or is the neighbor's grass GREENER? LOL (DH had just de-thatched)


2008- Harvesting pumpkins -- 22 0f 'em. Too bad moles got to most of them.

2008 harvest recap:

  • Apple tree died, but looks like it wants to resurrect itself as a bush. Need to transplant it though because its too close to the playset we just built)
  • blueberry vine never took
  • grape vine I thought died regrew - hoping the blueberry one will do that next year
  • 22 pumpkins (about 14 chewed by moles)
  • 3 squash (too many to count chewed by moles)
  • LOTS of Roma tomatoes (canned 4 spaghetti sauce, 4 pizza sauce and made lots of bruschetta! -- AND ketchup - the kids love it too - and I know whats in it!)
  • about 35 red potatoes
  • Lots of chives, celery
  • peas and beans had an early demise due to deer and a storm washing an avalance of dirt onto them from that surplus dirt pile.
  • 4 cantaloupe
  • 3 heads of Broccoli (didn't know it would regrow - but the plants were crowding out the peppers and celery anyway) -- WOW! This was the best broccoli EVER! (first time growing it too - i guess this is one thing that FRESH is definitely best!)
  • Onions... did ok. They fell victim to little toddler size 6 pink crocks stepping on them, though.
  • Forgot the thin the carrots (again). Used about 6 in soup, etc, the rest (scrawny ones) fed to some deer at the sanctuary
  • not enough rhubarb to do anything with (still planted in clay, though)
  • about 4 peppers. Enjoyed inviting parents out for Stuffed green peppers, as a thank you for sharing all their knowledge on canning/gardening with me (as well as helping put it in!)
  • Corn... this is embarrassing - I planted FEED corn by accident!! We always buy our seeds at the farm store that has chicks in the spring (as a thank you for letting my kids handle/maim/infect them, lol). I bought it out of a bushel basket that I could have sworn said Sweet corn. So...First meal, early season, was a little chewy...thought maybe we picked it too early. A few weeks later canned/froze several (like 10 cobs worth) and have 4 more cobs that evening for dinner and was WAY rubbery! Then I knew.....

Looking forward to an even better growing season next year!

2009 - plans

  • I am planting twice as many tomatoes, as the canning was fun
  • 4 broccoli instead of 3, I think
  • SWEET CORN next year, duh.
  • Want to get in a little 3x3 bed of strawberries (I'm the only one that likes them)
  • Transplanted the rhubarb already
  • Planting a little extra corn
  • Might skip carrots. I always forget to thin them and the grocery store always has them as the free item, or cheap anyway.
  • Thought about skipping the potatoes since we aren't real big potato eaters and they take up a lot of room -- and are cheap to buy.... But then my picky eater found she liked them pan-fried (I know I know, fried -- BUT she eats them with MY ketchup!)
  • Watermelons by special request from said picky eater.
  • and pumpkins, of course! (fun to grow, and MUCH cheaper to grow your own!)

I have this all drawn out on graph paper - I'll try to post that sometime.

Can you grow garlic? In zone 3-4??

I wanted to get that bottom bed cleared out but never go to it. Its getting kinda late to do it too - we had our first snow flurries today!

It's obvious that this garden is too small. When we were putting it in we debated about making it 16 feet wide, but I wanted to conserve the middle of the hill for sledding and open play area. There is not much room to add on on the top or bottom. We are planning on putting a terrace on the top with our fire pit and maybe eventually grow our grapes on lattice up there, for a privacy fence. On the bottom of the garden, it is low, and I was thinking about putting a dry "riverbed" garden there and try to grow some asparagus there as well as flowers.

Yes, eventually moving out to a hobby farm is a dream - but I like the challenge of making it all work on this city lot -- and I don't think I could convince my DH to put in another raised garden again!! (I LOVE it!)

Thanks for reading my mega-post!

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