So I started laying things out a bit this afternoon after church (yes mom I went to church). You might think that this is relatively easy, but honestly its not. Sure you can just go out and throw 6×12 raised beds wherever they will fit but as I started thinking, it was rather more involved than that. I am almost certain that the preliminary layout I did today will change several times before I actually put the beds in. Why you ask? Well lets begin with a few questions.
What is my ultimate goal?
What plants am I going to grow at what time of the year?
Do I want to segment annuals and perennials or keep them random?
What is my spacing on plants?
What is the ground like? Flat? Sloped?
What kind of environment is there? Is it full sun, partial, shady?
As I write this I do not have the answer to all of those questions but I do have some. Each answer will invariably change the outcome of the layout. As I stated in a previous post my goal is to be able to garden 365 days a year. Winter gardens are a tad more difficult to deal with due to the cold and frost. Protecting the plants that need protecting is important so will require additional material such cloches or tunnels/plant covers. Good drainage is a must as we want to avoid root rot and fungas. This is the absolute opposite of summer up here as during July, August and September we are scavenging for water. Poor well performance keeps lawns non existent, and keep animals fed and gardens green and having enough for the house is difficult.
The fact that our ground is mostly rock, with a little red dirt and clay mixed in will require raised beds for the majority of plant areas. One thing I have not decided on is on my Goji Berry bushes is to do a large pot or set them in ground. Setting them in ground will require backhoe work to get the 3 footx4 foot hole dug for each of the bushes. I will start out with 2 and grow from there.
List of vegetables being grown (or at least attempted)
Perennial vegetables need planting only once and will re-bloom yearly: Asparagus, Garlic, Artichoke, kale and I read in glancing the sweet potato. These perennials with have their own specific beds and will remain untilled. I am probably looking at 4 beds with kale and artichoke sharing a bed.
Annuals – Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Carrots, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Okra, Bell Peppers, Sweet Peppers, cucumber, watermelon, zucchini, yellow squash, lettuce, peas, corn, beans
All vegetables will be heirloom where possible.
There will be certain herbs and plats that will be planted to bring in the good pests such as lady bugs, lacewings, Syrphid flies (meat bee, which we have plenty of) and Big eyed Bugs. To get these bugs in the garden to eat the peskin plant eating bugs I will be plating some specific types of plants/herbs such as dill and parsley.
Sorry I haven’t talked much about the layout i did to day.
So didn’t layout much in stage 1 area because that’s where all the material is sitting currently. However this area will definitely have 2 Goji berry bushes, and roughly 4 – 5 beds.
Stage two area will have one bed and 2 – 3 Goji Berry bushes. It will also house the meat chickens as they are raised. The reason for this is that stage 2 has the septic tank so I cannot put any permanent structures here. So will be a good area for the meat birds which will allow them to be connected to 3 garden areas.
Stage 3 area will actually be two areas combined but separated. This will be a annual garden section as well as the perennial section. There are 2 Goji circles and 6 beds.
This will probably be the only sections I work on this year. Digging is rather difficult during the summer so we do most of our digging and post pounding during the late fall and winter when the ground is wet and easier to dig and pound.
If you don’t know what Goji Berries are, don’t feel bad, neither did i till I started researching and reading on some dieting stuff. Did I forget to mention I am on a sorta diet. I have cut out 90% of all processed foods and eat primarily fresh fruits and veggies. Yes I still eat meat. But Goji Berries are consider a super food, you can read more here
Well next week I will be pounding some posts in the rock, get ready for blisters.