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Archive for March, 2013

Let the Gardening Begin

When we moved into Barewood last summer, we inherited a garden. Without any work on our part, we enjoyed carrots, onions, potatoes, bush beans, raspberries, blueberries, apples, and copious amounts of zucchini and cucumbers. I didn’t set up a greenhouse, make any cold frames, lay out row cover fabric, or put any season-extending strategies in place; I wanted to see what the normal growing season was like and how plants would do when left at the mercy of the weather.

I did do one garden improvement, although my work with outside the fenced garden area. Last fall, I began to terrace the steep hill behind the garden into usable beds. Eventually, I hope to convert the whole thing to stepped beds, but it will take time. In the meanwhile, I have two terraced beds ready, and I laid in another 6 square beds and a small rectangular ones, mulching them last fall with about 6 inches of dried grass and compost in order to improve the tilth of the soil for spring. The beds on the hill will be dedicated to squash and curcubits, because they take up a lot of real estate. On the hill, I can just let them run over the grass.

Now that my season of observation and preparation is completed, it’s time to start MY Barewood garden. I think I can use the space more efficiently to create even more bounty than last year.

Within the main enclosure, I laid out a central grid of nine 3′ x 10′ beds, a smaller side bed near the reasberries, and two 1′ x 20′ edging beds. These beds, plus the ones on the hill, give me a total of 21 growing areas for a total of about 400 square feet, not including the various berries or fruit trees.

So far, I’ve put in my Walla Walla onions (about 170 plants), yellow globe onions (150 sets), carrots (six 10′ rows), Yukon Gold potatoes (30 plants), and lettuce (Buttercrunch, Ithaca, and Romaine, 1 short row each).

More updates and pictures to come.

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