The newest growing space that I have is a huge garden that was created several years ago. To say that it is a challenge would be an understatement. It was created in an area that was a lawn and for a short time fenced as a pasture. Grass, weeds and alfalfa were dug under at the onset and it has been coming back ever since.
It was tilled up in the fall and the second year was our first crop year. The following year the deer found our garden and last year we put up a deer fence that ended up being woefully inadequate for the amount of wind that we have. I spent much of my time trying to reinforce the plastic posts that came with the system with metal T posts. By spring of this year the plastic posts and even some of the metal ones were bent or broken and the mesh, which held up really well and was still attached to said posts was in disarray. In the meantime last years crop was a disaster. The deer seemed to stay away after the fence was installed but it really didn't deter the rabbits. The weeds came. And came. And came.
Fast forward to Spring 2017. My bunch came on two weekends, some on the weekend prior and some on Mother's Day weekend to apply landscape fabric. The landscape fabric was a mother's day and birthday gift. It is part of a new plan to try to kill off the weeds and prevent their regrowth. So far we are planning a three pronged approach. We will use tarps and heavy plastic on the bare ground when no crops are present, landscape fabric when the crops are planted and then that will be picked up and cover crops planted for late fall. The tarps will then be used to smother the cover crop and keep the beds covered over the winter.
The other thing that happened is that a plan was made to replace the flimsy plastic posts and their ineffective reinforcements with wood posts. Last night 18 post holes were dug by Robb who borrowed his dad's post hole auger and I am hoping a trip to the lumber yard today will have me doing fence repair and then planting crops very soon. In the pictures below the landscape fabric is in the foreground and black plastic and tarps to the rear. When I built the permanent raised rows my spacing was inconsistent so in order to keep the fabric centered over my rows some of the gaps is taken up by a band of paper grocery sacks so that the garden is completely covered in those spots. Of course we are not nearly done but I am hoping to get the fence repaired, plant the fabric covered areas and keep advancing across the garden. I may have a temporarily smaller garden while I work my way across but I am okay with that.
|1st weekend progress. Thanks Nikole and Brad|
|2nd weekend progress. Thanks Nathan, Michelle and Caitlin|
|Robb digging post holes. Thanks Robb.|
I have a second garden space which is a small group of raised beds surrounded by a fence that I refer to as the potager. Some of those beds have been weeded and planted. I have more to do but it is good to get something in the ground.
The weather has been dry so it has allowed the top of the soil to dry out but we got some rain and more is predicted. That should buy me some time to allow me a chance to get the irrigation hoses set up for watering in the big garden before there is a need to water. Lots to do. And I think it is time to mow again.
The ornamental flowering tree that was a gift from Nikole a few years back hoping that it would be blooming on Mother's day did not disappoint.
Thanks for visiting.