Thursday, June 30, 2011

Things grow fast around here....

It seems like just a few weeks ago that we planted the garden,put the seed potatoes in the towers and now....the garden has gone crazy!I have renamed it,The Tomato Forest.Nearly all of the plants are 4 foot tall and still growing,and setting fruit.The above pictures were taken a week or two ago,the tomatoes are now well above the cages.

We went out yesterday and added a last layer of dirt to the potato towers,I've read that once they bloom,they will not make potatoes beyond however tall they were when they bloomed,not sure how true that is,but we'll see what happens.The towers are now four boards high,and full to the top with dirt.

We also added a thick layer of straw around the row of potatoes.This year is an experimental year,and I know some people have had really good luck growing potatoes in beds of straw,so why not,let's try it and see what grows.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Building raised beds

Here are a couple of pictures from when we were building the raise beds for this year's garden.

We chose to use cinder blocks as the sides because,well,for one they were free or nearly free(thank you craigslist)and two,they are permanent,and since we don't plan on moving these beds,it worked out perfect.Well,until we ran out of cinder blocks,but we have more on the way,gifted from a friend,but those will have to wait to be added around the gardens until next spring.

As we laid out the blocks,we layered old newspaper down and then put several loads of compost/topsoil on top of the papers,this has helped to drastically reduce the weeds,and saved me time weeding.

I won't lie,it was a ton of hard work,more than I've ever done building a garden space,but in the end,with proper care,I think it will pay off.This is our first growing season with the new raised beds,but it's already had the benefit of being able to plant the garden while a large portion of the lower yard was still flooded,rather than having to wait until it dried out enough to be able to work the soil.

Using the raised beds have both advantages and disadvantages,on the up side you can plant earlier,and there are a lot less weeds to deal with.On the downside,you do have to water more often because the beds dry out faster than a traditional in the ground garden bed.

I've taken one end,where we ran out of cinder blocks and made that the designated compost pile.When we get more blocks,I'll simply add them around the border to match the rest and add topsoil on top of the compost,and mix it in,instant garden bed!

My plan is to rotate the beds yearly,and use a different one every year as the compost pile,that way I can be assured of good crop rotation to prevent plant diseases and to not overly drain the soil of much needed nutrients.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Welcome to my blog!

OK,so I have abandoned my former blogging attempts and have created this shiny brand new page for all my friends to read and follow along with me as I turn what was once and empty lot into my garden/orchard and own personal local food supply.

With today's unstable economy,unstable pricing and what seems like one outbreak after another of food born illness,it only make sense to grow your own,at least as much as you can in the space you have available to you.

I grew up with a family garden,fruit tress and all,the only thing we didn't have was livestock.In my younger years I wanted nothing to do with gardening,canning,preserving,and all the work that goes along with getting food from garden to plate.

Now that I am older and wiser,I've been working on getting back to those days when I could just step outside my door and harvest food that night's meal.I'm getting there,slowly.

I hope as you follow along with me on this journey that you will be inspired to try and grow at least some portion of your own food.There's a certain comfort and enjoyment that comes from eating a meal that contains foods that your grew yourself,and it just makes the entire meal taste that much better.

So,come along on my personal journey as I learn,grow.explore and create.