Thursday, April 30, 2009

How Does My Garden Grow?

I am going to take Sandra's advice and post about my garden a little over the course of the season, both as a way to record my progress and as a way to share my experience. If I inspire anyone to grow some of their own food, then all the better!
So, how does my garden grow right now? Very slowly. I am in the process of setting it all up and I am focusing on the foundation of the design, rather than trying to get a bunch of food going this year.
We have a big grassy area on the southern side of our property that is perfect for a vegetable garden. Lots of sunlight, good drainage, easy access from the house. In the picture below, I am standing in the driveway looking towards the house. The pile of leaves on the left, where A is crouched down, is the edge of where the garden is going in. The leaves cover up the area where we had a huge dead maple tree removed and the stump ground. I call it my resource pile because I am using the leaves and woodchips as a source of organic material for my raised "lasagne" beds. Basically, I am using this year to build good soil for growing the food next year.
In the picture below, I am right next to the resource pile, looking southward-ish to the garden area. What you see here is woodchip mulch from the trees we had taken down last fall layed out for paths and a couple of the raised beds I started. I layed cardboard down first to kill the sod and then piled on leaves and some bunny poop, and then a layer of soil sifted out from the rocks. I got the soil from digging a trench around the garden perimeter which should help with drainage. It is a good thing I choose raised beds, since the dirt under the grass is mostly rocks! I will continue to layer on other things like compost as I acquire or make them.
After I had gotten everything going, I realized I could make edges for my raised beds with tree trunks from some downed pine trees in our woods. I want to clear out the pines anyway, to allow the hardwoods to grow and let in more light for other plants, like the raspberries and apple trees that are in the woods. Below are the first two beds we made, ready for planting. I put in a few rows of peas today in one of the beds from some old seeds we had on hand. The soil is not very deep, and we don't have a fence up around it all yet, but I figure if the seeds grow and the deer and other critters nibble a few, we won't be out much time, energy or money. And if no animal eats them, we get peas. I am not planting any seeds or plants I buy this year, until the fence is up!
So, that is where I am in my gardening journey this year. Stay tuned for more!

1 comment:

TheOrganicSister said...

We did the sheet mulching thing too to get rid of our grass. Watch out you don't get flies like we did. :/ One of these days I'll post an entire blog about it. Just not any day soon.