Moving into the height of summer now. I really felt the brunt of it on Friday when I was moving the raised beds from the shade to the top garden where there’s more sun. I also looked at the sun and it looks like that during summer this area is going to get some seriously long hours of sunshine. The new raised beds are arranged along the square garden approach. I want to try and get the most out of the small space I have so this beds will be planted accordingly. The other thing I did was use sprinklers for irrigation. I was using drip irrigation but because of the concentrated effect it was not helping to keep a large area moist so using the square garden approach I will need to have a more dynamic approach to watering.
August is not really a time for doing anything in the garden so not really sure what I’ll achieve. The other thing is that I won’t be here for three weeks so the garden will be in maintenance mode so can’t see anything new being grown. I have some seeds and while I’m away I’m hoping that Mirit might be able to plant a few seeds for me so that there will be something to put in the garden come end of August when the days are shorter and less savage.
You can pretty much see how I’ve gone about creating the beds with the layers. The bottom layer is mixture of straw and horse manure. One top of this as I mow the lawn each week I’ll add that to the bed on top of the straw mixture and then add a layer of sawdust. I did this in the front and the soil there is beautiful is a really short time. The theory is that with this quick turn around on top of the slower grass manure layer the plants might have something to grow into and also the water will be held onto by something. Then before planting I’ll put a layer of compost on top of the bed just to give a bit of a shot in the arm for the vegetables.
I’ve been shooting from the hip for the first part of the year or at least since we moved into the house. I’ve really been enthusiastic and like most beginners jumped in head first before looking at how deep the pool really was. I read about permaculture, aquaculture, aquaponics, hydroponics, no-till, raised beds, and on and on. It was all new and I lapped it up without thinking, jumping at idea’s but never really having a clear plan. This below is the result, A pretty much hotchpotch of dirt and wood and very little green.
Don’t get me wrong or think I’m just being negative. I have made mistakes and had a few mishap’s along the way but this year has been about learning how this piece of earth works and how I can try and get the best out of it. My idea of having the garden at the bottom was OK in the beginning but after summer came and leaves appeared on all the leaves that was pretty much the death nail for those beds.
Now I’ve got a plan. I want to see what I need to grow and when I need to plant it, probably most importantly how much I need to plant. I’ll be converting the upper terrace that gets light most of the day into the main garden area using raised square gardens. I have the beds on the lower terrace and those will be broken up and re-made into the square beds. So no wastage and the material I had in the beds will just become a big compost pile. I’m thinking that that will be the best thing for this area in the shade.
The idea of this post is that I will have a reference for a year or so down the line and see how much progress I’ve made. I’m hoping that with a bit more planning and thinking about what I need to put into the beds I’ll actually get something out of the garden. I really enjoy being out there and working and seeing the beginnings of something has given me some encouragement.
Been a while since I’ve managed to get my site up and running. Seems this year has been alot of learning from failures. Moving to the new house I knew starting the garden would mean that I’d be making changes next year. So far I’ve learnt a few things:
- Don’t plant under a tree, even if it has no leaves
- Transplanting those vegetables mid-season probably won’t work.
- Raised beds work but you need to have sun.
- Aphids really can be removed with some homemade spray
- Gardening is a ton of work that sometimes doesn’t pay off.
- Best thing for me to use in raised beds is a combo of grass and sawdust
So I planted I variety of vegetables when we moved into the new house. I had some under a bare pecan tree. Once the leaves came out that was the end of their growth and basically they went no where from there. I also had pumpkins and watermelon planted on the neighbors property. They said they didn’t mind but somewhere along the line they changed their minds and started moving and ripping the plants out. Well lesson learnt, keep within the borders of the house.
Today I started my second half of the year push. In sport you have a negative split. Basically it means finishing the year stronger. This is hopefully what will pan out but sure there may be a few more lessons in there. I planted broccoli today according to the Gardenate suggestions for my zone.
The other garden method I learnt about was raised beds. It wasn’t long before I came across square foot gardening. I’ll take the raised beds I have and cut them down to make a few more square gardens in the top of the garden where there is full day sun.
Well my website went down and I had little or no way of recovering it. So starting again and hopefully this time I’ll remember to make a few backups and enable the ability to restore the site if something like that happens again.