ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
So the planning phase, we're talking gardens here, we'll start at the top of the yard. Here we are looking down from the alley at the very top tier of my hugel terrace. There is a severely cut back walnut tree that spoils the soil. There are many things that will tolerate walnuts, such as black raspberries, currants and gooseberries. I have a goumi mitigating the effects of Juglone (the chemical that walnuts produce), as well as being a nitrogen fixer. There is a small pear tree to the left and an Asian Pear to the right inside the cage. A very small cherry is struggling in the actual garden bed. It is surrounded by garlic. In various places are black raspberries, which we groom, although, they really don't spread here. The virginia creeper and wild grapevine are also kept in check. A large hemlock overhangs the sawdust path from the neighbor's yard (left distance) and our own mulberry is the the clump of trees defining the edge of the bed in the background.

From the top

This section gets good sun spring and fall and is shaded during summer when the mulberry tree grows leaves. It tends to be on the dry side. The mulberry has been cut back, leaving half the bed with a lot more sun. The bed is the middle portion of the picture. According to the Empiress of Dirt, brassias, alliums, and curcurbits should do well with this lighting. Some of the cabbage family does not do well with the walnut. At the moment, the closest portion of the bed has one black raspberry, the tiny cherry tree, garlic, and arugula. Last year peas and tomatoes were mariginal in there. Not much grew, even weeds had a hard time. The coffee grounds were decomposing. I think the closest half of the bed will get leeks and onions, swiss chard, spinach, and mizuna. Maybe beets, parsnips, and kohlrabi as well. I'll keep the arugula as it really likes it there. If I can get good king henry or the Alexanders to grow, this may be a potential spot. At the moment, I'll use strawberries as ground cover. Eventually, maybe gooseberries. They would make a thorny fence to keep the deer away. I still haven't found the species of gooseberry we had when I was a kid. It was a white or yellow berry, not pink like the recent trend.

New Strawberry Location

On my wishlist is a row cover for this bed, leek, beet, kohlrabi and mizuna seed. Definitely some organic onion sets. We have determined that there can never be enough onions. I have some potato onions to replant but I think regular onions would be good too. I want to take Justin Rhodes' approach. You eat everyday, therefore you should plant something everyday. Eliot Coleman wrote The Four Seasons Garden as well as The Winter Garden. He has some lovely methods he's developed and sells through Johnny's Seed. I have my eye on hoops and row covers for season extension. I will be headed to the seed library in town to see what if anything they might have. In return, I have parsnip and carrot seed. I need to check my seed stash as well. I know the critters ate all my beet seed last year. I will have to try starting some indoors.

Looking up

With all the wood, I am tempted to drill holes and add mushroom plugs. Most of the logs used are Siberian elm or mulberry. Winecaps would be nice or oyster mushrooms. At a much later date, I'd like an arbor over the path for grapevine. Dreams. . .

Gardening

2 Mar 2014 12:25 pm
ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
If you have read my page before, you know I have this thing for gardening. Maybe not so much for weeding, but definitely gardening. I find it odd because I like to travel too. And if my husband cannot find a job, we will need to grow way more of our own food. So I got to thinking about how much food that really means.

So for tomatoes, I'm thinking one pint per week minimum, not including dried tomatoes which I like on flatbread. That's sloppy joes, spaghetti, casserole, baked beans, etc. And for jams and jellies which I toss in oatmeal (apricot is amazing), have on toast, apple sauce on pancakes, my husband likes his PBJ, and I use as filling on thumbprint cookies, I'd want at least 50 pints. So how much do I need to preserve?

I found two growing guides. Both seem to agree on most items.
http://newlifeonahomestead.com/2013/07/how-much-should-i-plant/
http://www.wellfedhomestead.com/how-much-should-you-plant-in-your-garden-to-provide-a-years-worth-of-food

That said, I cannot grow my own sugar for jellies nor my oatmeal or wheat. There will be other staples I need to purchase like vinegar, oil, milk and cheese, and meat. We live in the city so a lot of options aren't open to us.

Looking at just tomatoes for a moment, I need twenty plants. That's going to be tough. I am not sure even with square foot gardening if we can manage that many. We may have an odd looking yard this year. Well, odder than last year.

So for fruit we have rhubarb, mulberries, blackberries, red currants, and strawberries. If I can get free coffee grounds, I'd like to add blueberries, elderberries, and maybe grapes.

I am also going to need to look at irrigation as well. I found this blog: http://www.mysquarefootgarden.net
So far living a chaotic lifestyle, I don't know what I can accomplish, but we'll see. I have too many passions. Its hard to do time management and balance it all.

Alfalfa Sprouts

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