Monday, April 23, 2012

Salad Garden Part 1

The Back to Eden Gardening video looked so interesting! I really wanted to give it a try, at least in a small way.

We have a spot by the gazebo that used to be a flower bed, but I couldn't grow much there because the sprinklers didn't hit it, and I'm not much for wasting culinary water on plants. That spot also gets strong sun part of the day, but it's in shade both morning and late afternoon.

Mix that thought with the thought that our kale did very well all summer, even in 100˚ F weather, because Hubby loved the wild sunflowers that grew in the veggie garden and shaded the kale.

Here's the spot. I dug out what was left of the wood raised bed.

The grassy spot on the left wasn't part of the original flower bed, so I hacked off the grass (it was soooo tall). This area doesn't get hit by the sprinklers either, so it had crab grass and never looked very good.

I laid wet newspapers over the area that was grass. I've done this in other areas before and it works great as a weed barrier as long as the grass is clipped short under the paper, the newspaper is at least 4 layers thick, the paper is wet (to keep it from blowing away) and the newspaper is overlapping by at least 3".

I don't like the paper dripping wet, just wet enough to keep it from blowing away. I take a handful of paper and hold it under the water in a bucket, that's usually enough.

If the newspaper doesn't overlap weeds will grow through the cracks. I promise!

Hubby bought the landscaping bricks before he left on a business trip. Good thing he bought 1 extra because the length of the garden wasn't evenly divisible by the number of blocks, so I had to make the garden about 8" deeper.

The level of the garden is higher than the bottom of the fence. I used an old piece of paneling cut to fit between the ground and the fence. You can see the white-ish piece of wood in the background.

The back of the paneling matches the fencing color, you can hardly see it in this photo.

This is why I'm trying to get the salad garden done this week. This is the kale and broccoli I planted last fall. The kale is just about ready to bolt in the greenhouse. It didn't grow as well as I wanted over the winter, but it took off this spring!

I finished putting the dirt and the wood chips in the garden. But by the time I finished it was almost dark. Almost as in there were too many stars for me to count, but I could still see the ground so I wanted to finish.

Tomorrow I'll plant the kale and broccoli and maybe some lettuce seeds. I might try planing some peas in the back so they grow up the outside of the gazebo.

As with many of our projects, this is another experiment. I'm not sure it will work or not. I love the idea of having a salad garden close to where I can pick the produce. The thought of not having to water or weed much because of the wood chips is a big plus, too!

I've still got a few small piles of wood chips. I'm planning on putting them around the raspberries this year to keep the weeds down and the moisture in the soil.

And we're also planning on trying a few raised beds in the big garden. I want to see how well the Mini Farming concept works, too.

Not too bad for a days' work--especially for a 50 year old lady :)


Farmer's City Wife said...

At your recommendation I watched the Back to Eden video. WOW. I've got a virtually unlimited supply of free wood chips. I can hardly wait to get started! :)

TJ said...

What a blessing! I've been sending out the word to people I know that they can dump their chips here. Please let me know how your garden grows!