Despite some rain this week, this weekend looks promising for planting Big Garden. I know a lot of serious gardeners would have theirs in already, but it is just not possible here. We always have too much to do to get ready for summer plus soccer games and tournaments.
And some years, the garden is still too wet to really get in it without Wellies.
Nonetheless, I am looking forward to seeing a view similar to this backside shot of prepared beds. First, we need to till the beds and then reform them. Most were originally 4′ x 4′ raised squares with some larger: 4′ x 9′ or 9′ x 10′ for cutting gardens or vining plants like cucumbers, melons and pumpkins. The smaller beds work well for individual tomato plants and the like.
I also have a central diamond shaped bed that holds a birdbath surrounded by chives and allium bulbs. This year, I need Donny to make a tuteur to replace the birdbath that did not survive our extended winter. Most springs, a liter of bunnies is born in these plants that I then have to convince to not eat my pepper seedlings. I haven’t seen any this year, though.
Around the diamond are 4 triangular beds for herbs. I now also grow herbs in a container on the deck just outside my kitchen door, so I may repurpose these beds at some point.
Over the past few years, I have been dividing and moving volunteer chives plants to border the sides and eventually the back side of the whole garden in hopes of deterring deer from entering.
I use Excel to draw out the plan and keep records from year to year of what I grew and where it was planted so I can rotate on a minimum 3 year basis to avoid crop failure. Rotating prevents diseases and insects from building up over time. It also allows the soil to recover from plants that demand a lot from it.
I have a huge compost bin made of cinder blocks, but I can’t claim to be very good at pulling from it. I should set this as a goal for some year – there is black gold in it for the taking.