Monday, September 10, 2012

Garden Is Started!

Since I seem to be sentenced to hard labor this summer, I immediately started construction of my raised beds now that I've completed the construction on the chicken coop.

I am planning to dedicate a full 1/4 acre to the production of crops - for food or herbals. It will take me years to get to full production. For a week or two I pondered whether to focus on planting fruit trees, which take years to bear fruit, or raised beds of vegetables we can eat immediately. I opted for immediate gratification! LOL! Hard labor needs to have some payoff, right?

I have drawn a plan using It is a great tool! The subscription costs $25 annually. However, for that money, you can draw five different plans, mark what you plant in those plans, and the system will email you reminders to harvest and replant depending on season. With the five plans I'm allowed, I am dividing my yard into quadrants. It is saving me a lot of drawing frustration!

I started on the food production plot this week. Saturday and Sunday, I built the raised beds. I acquired lumber from my in-laws, used the cornice board from my mother's old kitchen decorations, and rescued lumber left out for the trash. I had enough scrap lumber to build five raised beds - each 8x3 ft. That's plenty of space for a decent start!

I am using leftover moving boxes as a weed blocker.  For the compost, I am using a couple of different things. I am using the pile of leaves left back by the chicken yard - you know, the leaves that had buried the blue pool cover. The chicken's bedding is also a good source of compost and fertilizer. :D

Top image: raised bed frame with floor of cardboard. Top middle: leaf mulch pile.

Middle: Re-purposing the sled Celie played on during Chicago winters. It makes a great pull "cart."

Middle bottom two:  finished raised beds with dirt, leaves and chicken bedding mixed together.

Bottom: final layout of five beds. Along the fence where the cinder blocks are now, I am planning to plant a crop that needs to be permanent and trellised. I can't decide yet among blackberries, raspberries, or grapes. The whole area will eventually be filled with fruit trees, raised beds, and eventually a fish pond. :)


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