It’s hard to believe that just one year ago, we were completely immersed in a rehab and preparing to move — whew! In contrast to the spring of 2016, we’ve spent the spring of 2017 turning the yard at our new house into a garden to rival our old commuter garden.
Speaking of the old garden, it is more or less finished. Matthew had considered continuing to use that land for low maintenance, high space needs crops, like winter squash. For better or worse, the municipality where our commuter garden was located — let’s call it Jerkwood — squashed that plan when they decided that the chicken wire fence that kept rabbits out of the garden for YEARS was no longer acceptable. No affordable rabbit prevention = no garden. I started a longer post dedicated to the subject last fall, but at this point, it’s probably best to let it go . . .
. . . so here we are with our very own backyard garden!
After a few years of helping with the commuter garden, I’d largely removed myself from the garden scene — the all day Saturdays, especially in the heat of the summer, were just not working for me. Matthew has done the majority of the work to date in our new space, but with a bit more free time now that my classes are over for the year, plus the incentive provided by the harvest, the garden is sucking me in, bit by bit.
Turns out that weeds threatening to choke out my beloved cilantro (and other yummy plants) are great motivation to weed! Also, weeding is strangely satisfying (though having less of them to remove will also be quite satisfying).
Gabriel has his very own 4×4 plot. He is most excited about his beloved ground cherries (not yet planted in the above pic). Matthew wisely suggested radishes for a quick spring win, and Gabriel was very proud to contribute his radish harvest to our meals.
After a misguided attempt to have grass paths in between the beds (too much work!), we’ve reverted to our coffee bean bag pathways. I’m interested in trying a biodegradable weed barrier that I read about in Mother Earth News (like this). I assumed that it would be prohibitively expensive for the amount we’d need, but for a little over $100, we could cover almost all of our vegetable beds, and if it works, that would be money well spent!
- Kale (a few different varieties — Red Russian is my fave!)
- Cilantro (a little bit — would love to have more)
- A few strawberries
- Garlic scapes
- Turnips (we like the sweet haikuri variety)
Each of the beds is 4′ x 30′, and there are twenty-seven vegetable beds.
Coming soon (or soonish)
- Sugar snap peas
- Snow peas
- Swiss chard
- Broccoli and other cruciferous (if they don’t get too grumpy in the heat)
In the ground for summer harvest
- Garlic (planted last fall)
- Tomatoes — lots of varieties
- Sweet peppers
- Green beans
- Summer squash
In the ground for fall harvest
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
. . . and probably more than a few things I’m forgetting! We also have blackberries, red raspberries, and black raspberries planted, plus a bunch of baby fruit trees and blueberry bushes. The trees won’t yield much this year (and I think we’re supposed to remove any fruit that sets so the trees can put their energy into general growth), but they’ll be fun in years to come!
Stay tuned for more garden posts!