Thursday, April 16, 2009

Garden Progress

This is what our 'field of boxes' looked like last year after our initial planting.

This is what they looked like as I began the long, tiring process of moving them this spring. You can see how the grass was a problem at the edges - it spilled over into the boxes pretty badly as well.

This is what they look like now - about 75% of the way completed. The first three boxes have all been planted (peas, spinach and strawberries).

Last year, we planted 8 square foot gardening boxes and about 1/3 of our row garden area. This year, that's changing. We didn't plant as much as we wanted to last year because we got into the house late in the growing season, and really ran out of time to plant and still hope to get harvest before winter. Mid-July is waaaayyyy too late to be planting when you live this far north (cold winters or not - you run out of daylight before the plants mature!).

We also had a real problem with keeping the grass in the pathways between the boxes under control (despite my planning the aisles the width of two lawn mower passes). The aisles were too wide as well, creating a lot of wasted space. This year, I planned out how I wanted them to be arranged and the best way to make the move (it's not easy since they have only weedcloth on the bottoms) before tackling the task. We also liked how the base of our greenhouse turned out so well that we decided that we wanted to use river rock in the walkways. This will allow water to still soak into the ground, but it will discourage the grass and make foot travel to the boxes easy.

We still need a couple of loads of rock and to mix up some more soil before we are complete, but it's coming along nicely. I also will need to reinstall the trellises, but that's quick and easy. They are currently all stored in our shed and installing them means only to insert 1/2 inch rebar into the ground in the right locations and then to drop the trellis over the rebar (the trellises use 1/2 inch electrical conduit for their frames).

This area is parallel to our row garden area in which we've only planted potatoes and garlic so far. The row garden area will also house some beans, corn, some winter squash, and the quinoa. We may also duplicate some of the other items we have set up for the boxes just to see which items do best in which location. I purposely wanted these boxes to be in the same general area as the row garden because depending on what the future holds, we may eventually want to fence them both in to keep the chickens out (currently the chickens only free-range in the goat area to keep them safe from the neighbors dogs). Luckily (knock on wood), we don't have a deer problem like so many of our neighbors do. We think that the 8 foot buffalo fence that surrounds us on two sides and the 6 ft privacy fence on the third side really discourages them. Four dogs in our two acres (between ours and our neighbors) and a road where nighttime speeds exceed 70 mph - and we are pretty well protected from deer as long as there are other more easily ravaged gardens to keep them happy. ;-)

1 comment:

Farmgirl Susan said...

Your garden looks great! : )