Saturday, July 23, 2011

Our Veg Garden

Our veg garden was a lot of years in the making.    I was first a flower and herb gardener.  Vegetables were not as interesting to me as herbs and flowers.   Plus, the gardens were in the bottom of our hollow.   Frost collects there.   This was bad for vegetables.  I killed a lot of vegetables in those lower gardens.

From the end of the veg garden looking on to the studio
Once the studio was built, we had a nice flat place on the west side of it that was perfect for more gardens.   It had full sun, except for the first couple of hours after sunrise.  Plus, it was up and out of the frost-collecting bottom of our hollow.  

One problem.  

Clay.

Clay, clay, clay.    Winter and Spring:  slimy mud.   Summer and Fall:  brick.

I built raised beds.   We have six of them now, plus smaller borders around the south and west sides of the studio.  

After we built the beds and the borders, I ordered a dump truck load of sand.  I'm not kidding.   We filled the beds and borders with sand.

From the corner of the studio looking on the garden.
Sand, sand, sand.

And then manure.   Chicken manure and horse manure. 

Then we dug and mixed and dug and mixed and dug and mixed.    It was hard work.    I stink just thinking about it.

Then I planted vegetables.   And by golly, they grew!   And they produced fruit!  And we ate it and all was well with the world.   Finally, a place where our vegetables can be happy.

I put the herbs in the studio borders.   They're happy there.   So is the okra.

The paths were still an issue.  Muddy and boggy in the spring.   And weedy.   I hate weeds.  

From the strawberry rhubarb bed toward the house.
I got my shovel out [again] and dug shallow ditches to direct the wet away from the beds.   I laid landscape cloth in the ditches to discourage weeds and put tons, literally, of gravel on top.    Works like a charm.   We have fabulous drainage now. 

Since the ducks adore squash and melon leaves, and bean bugs and pretty much anything they can reach, we wrapped every bed with plastic deer fence [which so would not keep out deer, by the way!].   That keeps the ducks out.  We also put some of the deer fence on top of the strawberries to keep the birds out.  As long as we keep it high enough to let the rhubarb get tall, it works great. 

The saw horse in the middle of the garden is where I put the sprinkler.  It likes being high.  

And the trellis in the middle is where we train the cukes and Chinese long beans.   They like to hang.

All in all, it's a very happy garden.    I love it.

Right now I'm learning how to combat squash bugs and vine borers.   I hate them.    More on that later.

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