Last week our family did some dog-sitting for a dog who loves to be outside. Since our current home is such that I don’t feel we could just put her out on a cable by herself and she’d be happy, I took advantage of “mandatory” outside time and spent the week pulling weeds out of the existing garden bed.
It wasn’t quite as much work as I’d anticipated. We’d had quite a bit of rain, so the ground was soft and the weeds came out easily. I got as many of the roots as I could as well, so hopefully those big bad nasty weeds won’t be back.
It is nice that we moved into a place with an existing garden space. It already had a small perimeter fence even, so that’s a little less work I have to do. When Andy moved the garden beds over, one of them broke, so right now there are five garden boxes. I may just make do with that amount, because I think I like how I have them laid out at the moment. There’s not a huge space to view, but I did take pictures.
This picture below is a straight on view. The garden shed on the right is actually outside the garden space. I’m debating extending the garden out to the shed. The hose box right at the front will be coming out of the space, as will the garbage cans on the left. That left corner has an existing compost bin- but it needs to be expanded a bit.
Also, if you squint and look very closely in the picture, way in the back you can see a tiny red stop sign. To the right of that is a tiny white blob the size of a pinhead. THAT is the community garden that I am on the waiting list for. I am number six on the list, and they are planning on adding more gardens next year, so I have a good chance of getting in.
Here you can see a little better how I have the gardens laid out at the moment. There’s enough room between the beds to work, and then it also leaves a nice space at the front of the garden for some in-ground tomato plants. If I don’t get my community plot I will have to drastically reduce the number tomatoes I grow next year. Also, if I decide to extend the plot in this direction towards the shed, that space will also be a couple of raised beds specifically for eggplants and peppers this coming year.
And then here is the view from the other side. You can see my raspberry bush on the outside of the garden over here.
It’s a decent enough space. There is also a small raised bed off the back of the house by the deck. There were everbearing strawberries growing in it, but the rabbits ate those down to nubs, so we’ll have to see if they come back. If they do, I plan to fence it off and see what kind of a strawberry harvest might be possible.
The next step is to have Andy level the beds and actually get them ready to receive compost. Then I plan to line them with cardboard or newspaper, and then he’ll fill them up with compost. My ultimate goal is have at least three of the beds ready to plant for when the spring thaw comes.
As for the upcoming dormant season, I’m making my plans for seed starting. I don’t have any southern facing exposure here- except one small window on the upper level. I plan to re-pot my fatalii pepper in a hanging pot and give him that spot. I do have some nice east and west facing windows with ledges below them, so I’m thinking about starting a pair of dwarf tomatoes in pots, and see if I can manage to find them enough sunshine there.
For seed starting I have a small spot in our downstairs bathroom that one of my plant racks will fit in. Andy can hang some lights on there- and that will be good for some of my seed starting. The other plan is a little drastic. On our sleeping level in our home (split level, so the layout is wonky) we have a solid security door that goes out to the deck and the backyard. This door is south-facing. Andy is keeping an eye on our local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store to see if anyone brings in a single-paned glass door that he could put in instead of the security door. If he finds one, that will let a TON of sunshine into the house, AND I can put my green growing rack in that spot in front of a sunny window. Between that and the smaller rack in the lower level bathroom, I can get a good head start on next year’s growing season.
Plans are exciting. It’s way to early to really start planning what I ‘m planting, but it’s exciting to think about! I do know that I have some seed stock I need to refresh and new things I want to try. One difficulty with the planning is that I don’t really know when I will know about the community plot. I gave my notice to my current garden that I won’t be back. It’s mostly cleaned out now except that I want to head back over there and pull up a patch of mint to put in my garden here at home. So right now I have to plan as though the only garden space I’ll have is the one in front of me. That makes it a little challenging to figure in everything that I want to grow.
But it will work out. I’m just thrilled to have the space in the first place. It is amazing how much I came to love my time in the garden at the last house. Every morning I would take my coffee and wander through the garden slowly. Looking at every plant, pulling weeds, adjusting trellises and support systems. I’ve missed that time, and I can’t wait for spring to get back at it.
Too bad tomorrow is only October 1st!