Monday, April 18, 2011

Garden Plans for 2011 - Taking Shape

Since we've made the move to our new home we have been SO BUSY! With the new baby, unpacking, organizing, checking out our new property and building our garden space and chicken coop.... our days are FULL.

We walked the property over the first several days and selected our garden area. We chose an area with a wide swath of southern exposure for sunlight, and slightly higher ground for better drainage. Our new property is partially marshy and muddy. But this higher portion (created when they dug out the well and dumped the sediment there) drains very well and has quite a bit of organic material mixed in with it. I feel that with some work, this area and its soil can make an excellent garden area.

Because of the need for more organic material and soil improvement AND because of costs I have chosen strawbale gardening this year. I hope that with this added material I will be able to just garden in my own soil and compost within the next two years.

We purchased the fencing materials, needed to keep out deer and other wildlife. As we began putting the fence posts in, my husband encouraged me to use the entire open space on that higher ground, instead of the smaller, measured garden plan I originally drew up.

So we marked it out and put in the stakes. We checked out the fencing this weekend, but as you can see from the pic, did not finish getting it up. And today I re-drew up new garden plans.

This includes out fruit trees and compost bin which we got in last week, and the bee hive which we might get to building this weekend.

I have also drawn in the potatoes.... but I'm not sure exactly how I'll be planting them. I do have access to additional strawbales and pallets and am leaning in that direction. Or I might try several different methods, the straw and pallet bins, a dirt mound, or ditches. I want a good potato harvest and am not sure what will work best. Any ideas????

We plan on getting some grapes to plant and train up over the entire fence. We figure this may appease some of our deer by allowing them to eat what is outside the fence. We also want to get raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in there somewhere. The area is slightly larger than my drawing shows and there is plenty of open space for me to give me lots of options.

And now..... a pic of how my children spend their time outdoors!!

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