Monday, October 10, 2011
New and Improved Vegetable Garden
Over the past two weekends we completely revamped our vegetable garden. We had some problems with it this year. I think most of the trouble was caused by the horrible drought we’ve been experiencing, but there were also problems with overcrowding. You see, our main vegetable garden is right behind the house, under our bird window, but it was so small that we were forced to plant our sweet potatoes and several other rambling crops in our beds of shrubbery. It didn’t work out very well.
Last weekend we harvested the sweet potatoes we’d planted in the “barn garden” (the bed around our garage), and the yield was terrible, only 14 pounds. This was mostly due to drought, I’m sure, but it probably didn’t help that the vines were planted in the midst of a tangle of turks’ caps, sasanquas, elderberry, Korean mums, and lemongrass. There really wasn’t a whole lot of room.
So we set out to change that, like I said, by expanding the main vegetable bed behind the house. We scrapped everything and started over. The area right behind the house is the only real sunny spot in the entire backyard, so we need to use the space wisely. To that end, we tore out all the grass inside the fenced area (we have a little wire fence that outlines the entire sunny spot). We got rid of the old bed (a messy, lopsided square outlined in rocks) and replaced it with a much larger series of rectangular beds, each four feet wide and 15 feet long. Rows of homemade stepping stones run between the beds so we can access the beds; the stepping stones also help delineate the beds. There are eight beds so far, but we still need to build more.
We amended each bed with compost and organic fertilizer, and we planted Inchelium Red garlic (54 cloves) and a bunch of seedlings: Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, red cabbage, white cabbage, Savoy cabbage, broccoli, pak choi, and Red Russian kale. We also planted some seeds: spinach, carrots, Fordhook and Ruby Swiss chard, and cilantro.
It’s all very orderly, as you can see! Now, if it would only rain!