Slow and steady. I just keep telling myself that- because this yard is a lot of work! I finally had to cave and beg my husband to give me a hand- because it was just wearing me out. Every day I would go out and pull some weeds out and it just didn’t seem like I was getting very far. When you have 486 square feet of garden space filled with weeds- that’s a lot of weed pulling. And speaking of weeds…
Bishop’s Weed is the enemy. Also called Goutweed in it’s green form, but in it’s more familiar variegated form, it’s called Snow On The Mountain. This stuff is a noxious weed that will literally take over your entire yard. It spreads in two ways- one via the seeds that the flower heads put out mid-summer. The second way it spreads is via rhizomes in the roots- meaning that unless you pull the entire root out, any small pieces of root left in the soil will re-create another plant. It’s a horrible, vicious plant. Just ask my neighbors- they all have it, thanks to the yard that we’ve moved into- and they hate it too. So if you have it, get rid of it. If you don’t have it, don’t let the garden center talk you into it because it grows nicely in the shade. That’s a big load of hooey- buy some hostas, which stay contained and don’t grow to take over the entire yard- including the lawn.
Anyway, the weeds are slowly going away. And with Andy’s help, I was able to get a huge portion of the garden cleaned out, and then we tilled in some compost- which we got free from our city- isn’t that cool! On the day we tilled, I took the time to plant two strawberry plants that we’d bought, as well as my two tomatillo plants. (Remember those? I’m very excited to see how they do in the ground.) After a few days wait, I finally got the tomatoes and peppers in, and while I haven’t snagged pictures of that yet, I do have pictures of the garden in general- would you like a tour?
Here is where the garden starts. Up by the shed there, there is a garden patch that is about 6 x 8. In that small patch the only plan I have so far is to try some sweet corn to go in next week- what else, I dunno. My garden is going to be a bit spontaneous this year, I think. That patch runs the length of that piece of drain pipe, and then you see the beginning of the tomato and pepper patch.
Here is a better picture of what I’m doing here.
This patch is 17 x 12 feet, so what I’ve done here is laid out where the tomatoes are going to go, using some empty pots I had laying around. Then I cut cardboard and laid that down to mark the rows in-between where I can safely walk. I have space for as many tomatoes as I could possibly want.
Here’s another view of it backed up a little bit. Off to the very right you see the beginning of the next section of garden.
The whole garden space is lined with old railroad ties, but many of them are old and crumbling, so Andy will slowly be replacing that with lumber that has not been treated with that yucky tarry creosote found in railroad ties.
Here’s a better view of the next section. This is actually at the back of the yard. Climbing on our fence there is a whole mess of grapes- wild grapes I think- I’m looking forward to seeing how that does, so I can try my hand at wild grape jam.
This section of garden isn’t really planned yet. Abigail and Zander will each get a portion of it to plant something in. The whole space is 25 feet long by 6 feet deep at the back, and then the front section is also 25 feet long, but only about 18 inches wide. The smaller front section we decided would be a great place to try our hand at some strawberry plants. Here’s a better of those.
Those two white pots right in front of the birch tree are marking the spot where I have the two tomatillo’s planted. To the left of those are the big bushy strawberry plants. They’ve been in for a few days and are looking really happy. They are an everbearing variety, so we’re hopeful that we may at least get a couple of berries off of them this year. Next to the birch tree above I also planted some yellow zucchini seeds, just because I could. They were kind of old seed, so I’m not sure how they’ll do.
Of to the right of the above birch tree is a huge honeysuckle bush which is being smothered by the wild grape vine. I also have a compost bin (Yay!) next to that, but those sections are still plagued with bishops weed. And then I have the whole other side of the garden yet!! I have all kinds of dirt available now, and I just need to come up with some kind of planting plan, and I’ll be good to go.
We also recently added a raspberry patch that we hope will like it here. We have a nice spot next to the house that gets great morning sun, and it seemed like the perfect place to start a patch. When we were visiting Tomatobug a few weekends ago, we dug up some volunteer plants they had in their yard, and so far they seem to be liking it here.
The lettuce patch has sprouted, but I’m not convinced that it’s going to get enough sun for those sprouts to do much. We’ll see- it’s in such a place that it doesn’t get much rainwater either, so I need to be diligent in watering them. Right now I have a ton of sprouts- I’m looking forward to seeing them do something.
Filed under: Uncategorized on June 10th, 2010