Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In the Works

I've got another boring garden update for you this morning. :) 

Above is a photo of our south gardens (as opposed to the new north gardens). It's in total disarray but things are starting to come together slowly. In the top right corner you can see my south veggie garden, roughly 12x24. I re-tilled it last night to a nice crumbly depth of 4" and it's ready to plant! It had been starting to grow grass earlier this year, and I've been plucking and pulling and whacking at the grass trying to get rid of it. Last year I let the grass kind of do it's thing and it really helped the seedlings establish. Unfortunately I found that the grass harbored a lot more pests than usual so I'm going to try to keep it under control this year. Does anyone else think grass is the worst weed? I'm morally adverse to it. ;)

In the foreground are the white buckets that I planted in last year. They're standing in as place-markers for where I plant to till, enrich and slightly mound the ground to plant winter squash. Last year I planted the winter squash in the very narrow three sister's garden that I planted. While I plan to incorporate the 3 sisters in another bed, I don't want to till huge swathes of land to accommodate the squash. This year I'm going to plant them in little plops around the field, allowing the vines to clobber the grass in the field.

In the back left you can see the raspberry bed (kind of) where the fence has totally flopped over. Alas, I'll probably be replacing this altogether since the fencing I used seems to have deteriorated considerably after just half a season. Ah well.

Other than what you see above, I've finally got my peas planted in the cinder block beds (at left), and I hope to get some onion seedlings planted out today to make room for the tomato seeds I need to start. There's always something to be done!

How is your spring prep coming along? Are you planning anything new this year?


  1. Not boring at all! You are gearing up for planting, and that is very exciting!

    Grass - it doesn't grow so well in our yard once the fig trees fill in (too much shade), so this year we are trying out some creepers and low-growing ground covers.

    Your plan to let your squash plants spread out and "conquer" the grass sounds like a good one. I wonder if a good spread of mulch in the areas around your squash would help to block out the grass and maybe provide some drainage / keep the squash from having direct contact with soggy ground after rains?

    So jealous of your raspberry plants! Do the birds go after them? Do you have to cover them? Hope you get that fence fixed up.

    I put some sweet peas seeds out a couple of weeks ago. So far the King Tuts are doing very well, but the Cupani sweet peas are not, and they are the ones I was really hoping to have this year. Oh well.

    Congrats on all the prep work you've accomplished and on getting some things in the ground!

  2. @Aimee
    Thanks for the comments! I will probably mulch around the squash for drainage, but mulch tends to be slugbait around here so I'll play it by ear. We have so many slugs here it's gross... and it takes a lot to gross me out!

    The birds have never been much trouble with the raspberries. We live in an area with lots of natural food supply for them, and our dogs are very good at chasing off anybody who chances to land in the garden. This year as we expand (from 35 raspberries to 65 - YIKES) I may do some netting just to assure we get the most out of our berries.

    I used to try sweet peas every year. I tried them for five years or so, and last year was the first year I ever had any luck and even that was slim. I think the few wacky super-hot days that we get each spring tend to throw them off. I may try again next year, but this year I'm replacing them with scarlet runner beans in a few different colors. I didn't even know they came in different colors (only 3 or 4 that I've found) but they're pretty and edible!

    Do your fig trees produce figs? Have you ever used them for anything? I've actually been spending my free time this week researching fig growers to see if I can find a small-farm or individual that sells them fresh via mail-order. If you get decent fruit on your trees and would like to work something out, let me know! I'm crazy for figs! :)