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bvar22's Journal
Posted by bvar22 in Gardening Group
Tue May 20th 2008, 11:31 PM
I have a slow Dial Up connection, and always appreciate the warnings.

XXXVeggie Garden PornXXX...Last Year
Twilight Harvest (Last Year)



This Year... Season Two


We spent Early Spring on Infrastructure and got a late start getting things in the ground this year. Starkraven and myself had planned certain minimal changes, but those changes grew while in process and required more time and effort.

Instead of adding 10' to the garden like we had originally planned, we dropped the garden fence all the way to the road, tripling the size of the fenced garden compound. There were a few small stumps to clear, some smoothing, and an erosion control problem to solve, but everything came out OK, and we are happy with extra room, but aren't sure exactly how we are going to use it. After clearing the brush and nettles, thick white clover grew back, which delighted us (and our bees).

For the new fence section, we used 8' landscaping logs, and 2" X 4" Welded Wire. The Landscape Logs are inexpensive, and you can get some straight ones if they let you look through the pile. The posts are set in cement, and the windbreaks were reused from last year. We will use windbreaks only on South side since our 1st season indicated that this is the only side where they are necessary.

We also decided to "reprocess" the soil in most of the boxes to get rid of the rocks. Last year, we used soil and compost from the abandoned chicken coop/goat shed to fill the boxes. A lot of rocks found their way into the mix. While they didn't really hurt anything, they were aggravating, so we built a shaker box with 1/2" hardware cloth and sifted our soil. The rocks and debris were used in the Erosion Control project on the downhill fence line. We were delighted and reassured to find gobs of big, fat, lively Earth Worms in the mix. We were careful to place them back in their homes.

We laid Landscaping Cloth between the boxes and covered it with hay for weed control and comfort.



Hyacinth Moonbeam

(That's Starkraven way in the back by the gate)
We planted the Garlic on the left last Fall, and it is almost ready for harvest. It did well over the Winter with very little attention surviving overnight temps into the low 20s and several brief snowfalls.

The strawberries in the center were planted last Spring, and also survived the Winter. This bed exploded in new growth in early Spring which led to a problem. The new growth combined with a wet Spring to produced a layer of gray mold at ground level that ruined the early strawberries. We thinned aggressively, removed all old dead leaves and ground debris, and laced a straw mulch around the plants pulling the leaves and berry clusters on top of the straw. The results were immediate, and a couple of days later, we are harvesting healthy, luscious berries.


Berries this good can't be bought.

We are adding another raised bed for more Strawberries. The new bed is 10' X 2'. The 2' width will make it easier to tend the berries, and allow more ventilation. We also added Raspberries to the fenceline, and added some more plants to our small Blueberry patch (not shown). The couple of Blueberry plants from last year are making a handful of berries for us this year.



Lettuce, Radishes, Carrots, Cilantro, Parsley, Marigolds, Basil,Oregano,...AND Tomatoes

We are still using Gardening by the Square Foot as a guide, but we are taking some liberties.
We are doubling the spacing for the tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, nasturtiums, and dedicating some boxes for a particular crop when it makes management easier (corn, strawberries, etc.)

We are still using the 1 foot grids for planting....it just makes everything easier to visualize, plan, and track. We are planting several things in staggered rotation (radishes, carrots, some beans, corn) for a season long staggered harvest. The grids make this much easier.

The two plastic jugs in the back of this box have pin holes in the bottom and are supposed to be a good way for long, slow, deep watering. So far, they appear to be working OK.

The superstructure on the box in the background is Starkraven's Web of Mystery. It is a complex (to me) woven structure for the snap peas to climb. They seem to like it. We are concerned because there haven't been any flowers yet, and it may be getting too hot for them.

In the far left background is a raised hexagon made from Landscaping Logs. We made two on a rainy day to break the monotony of our square garden. Corn, pole beans, and melons are planted in these two hexagons. A tepee structure or archway between the hexagons will be added later.




Red...Red...RED...too Red

This is one of our experiments.
I hated it at first. That much RED hurt my eyes, but I'm getting used to it.
It is a porous weed barrier that claims to reflect beneficial frequencies of light, accelerating growth and promoting robust health. It doesn't appear to have hurt anything so far, and the tomatoes might just be a little greener & bushier than our other plants......but it is impossible to judge against the red background.....I'm keeping an open mind.
This is also one of the narrow 2' beds. We had some difficulty reaching the inside areas of our 4' wide tomato beds last year. It should be easier to tend the tomatoes in this bed.


The Surprise of the Spring

We debated whether to plant Broccoli because it is inexpensive and easy to find.
We didn't really think that it would be worth the effort. We were wrong.
This was very tasty and well worth the effort. We are planning on another crop in the Fall.
We also planted a few Cauliflowers. The plants a growing great, but none of them show any sign of producing a head.....too late?


Full Moon Garden

A 30 second exposure of the garden under a rising full moon.


Be sure to get the June Issue of Mother Earth News.
They are going to publish a couple of my photos in the Community section!

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