our gardens

all the latest jazz and what-not – garden chat

It has been a few months since we took you around our self proclaimed homestead. So, we were thinking it was time for a little update. It seems things are always changing around here, and that’s how we like it.

new-sheet-mulched-bed

Here is the list of to-dos we shared back in April:

  • Double dig another bed in the front yard
  • Prep and plant a second bed in the backyard
  • Plant raised beds
  • Transplant more plants from the cold frames to new beds
  • Get mint in the ground
  • Get potato tower up and going (had a few hiccups here)
  • Price and buy materials for a few surprise projects up our sleeves
  • A ton of planting on top of what’s already been listed
  • Attach arms to cold frames
  • Planting more screening along the street
  • Build compost bin

I am proud to say we have been dominating this old list.

  • Double dig another bed in the front yard
  • Prep and plant a second bed in the backyard
  • Plant raised beds
  • Transplant more plants from the cold frames to new beds
  • Get mint in the ground
  • Get potato tower up and going (had a few hiccups here)
  • Price and buy materials for a few surprise projects up our sleeves
  • A ton of planting on top of what’s already been listed (as we suspect there always will be)
  • Attach arms to cold frames
  • Planting more screening along the street
  • Build compost bin

A few tasks have been tweaked (like double digging an additional front yard bed) to make up for time and some things we just felt could wait, such as attaching arms to the cold frames, since we won’t be using them for a while.

We didn’t double dig a new bed, but we did sheet mulch it and and put some of those woodchips to use. Now, we just need to plant it and build another wattle fence (yay!).

new-garden-bedsheet-mulching

Speaking of wattle fencing, it’s not on the list, but I managed to knock a couple out. We have been so pleased with the the first one built that we decided it would be a good idea to keep them coming.

wattle-fenceThis-Natural-Dream
Excuse the mess. We just harvested potatoes and left the bed in disarray. In a few weeks, it well be replanted, the fence will be finished, and we will have peace of mind that no rabbit will be having lunch on us. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about our black beans…Pretty sure a deer came through while we were out of town and took down over half the plants. My heart just sunk. (Can you believe that we have spotted deer in our front yard in Atlanta?)

bare-black-beans

As Ryan optimistically pointed out, we do have more black beans than we initially started with and can plant again using what we harvested. Another set back was our peas. They started out so nicely and now they look like this; burnt out with random green runs that are still producing peas.

sugar-snow-peas

We think the lack of light and the heat were the culprits here. This summer has been a learning experience, and we have been sure to note changes for the next time around.

Gardens, like life, come with highs and lows. So, though we lost a few guys along the way, we have been over the moon with some of our produce. I feel like a proud parent when I see someone a plant taking off. Everything we have has been started by heirloom seeds and grown naturally. You wont find Monsanto here.

latest-harvest
Our tomatoes are taller than my 5′ 3ish frame and every day we find more and more tomatoes growing from their branches.

tall-tomato-plants
Okra is getting taller, melons are starting to pop up more and more, and the banana peppers are nothing but a tease. At least to those who can’t wait to pick (cough). They are big and beautiful, but not quite ready. I have been reading how some folks like to wait until the pepper turns orange or red and that they are out of this world. I plan to find out for myself very soon.

okrabanana-pepper
The beginnings of our food forest is doing well too. The plants are healthy and happy, but the bed they are planted in is looking a little sad. We still need to mulch it and give the area a little TLC.

food-forest

While I have you in the backyard, we can’t forget the awesome clothesline Ryan made me (swoon).

clothesline

That knocked out one of our ‘surprise’ projects. Now, I can’t wait to get started on the next.

Getting back to the list, we did manage to add screening out near the road by planting more grass and mulching the area (It was a large part of mulching madness). Now, we just hang back and watch ‘er grow.

One thing on the list I fear may be lingering for a hot minute is the compost bin. This is not because we don’t have time or that we are putting other things in front of it, but because we don’t have a way to get pallets easily. After measuring the cars, we realized we could get one small pallet at a time with Ryan’s car. In short, we have to rent a truck to get what we need.

Moving on to happier things on the list, planting. We have been planting fools. Everything in the cold frames has been planted. All that mint has found a home, and we finally got the raised beds filled and planted.

This-Natural-Dream

Ryan ordered a bunch of  organic garden soil (that did fit in the car). We had collected roots and sticks in the frames as we double dug the neighboring bed. Later, we layered over that with woodchips and compost (like a raised hugelkultur bed).

comfrey-and-compostearly-stages-of-raised-beds
Placing comfrey leaves down, we topped the bed with the bought soil and homemade compost.

preping-raised-bed
After planting, we mulched again using woodchips. Hey, we really are starting to make a dent now, it’s not just in our heads.

I hope that wasn’t too much randomness for your taste. Now that you are in the know, we can keep trucking along. I’m sure it won’t be long before we are back in the kitchen preserving more garden goodness, but until then, here is some eye candy.

acorn-squashfront-garden-doing-wellmorgage-lifter-tomatoesbackyard-garden

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Hellen
    March 29, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Nice beds! Good looking dirt! Hope you get some nice veigegs from it. Ours is coming along, lost a few sprouts though – maybe birds. Did you use mostly seeds? What are you growing?

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