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Getting Ready for Spring 2009

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Project by XploreOrganics posted 10-26-2008 07:12 PM 2690 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is what we have been working on most of the fall. After harvesting our little few veggies from our square foot garden, we visited a friend’s house that had a bountiful garden; both myself and DH were envious of the lovely food especially since we had quite a large veggie garden on our old property.

I have been trying to save the scrubby spruce and fir forest in our back garden as a “buffer” just in case the developers go ahead with a subdivision behind our house. Anyway we scoped out and decided on a small south facing area just behind the square foot gardens, which keeps it still quite close to the house/garage for watering and leaves an 8’ to 10’ buffer of trees at the rear.

We began by cutting down about 40 trees (mostly fir and a few spruce) we loaded them on to our trailer and dropped them off at a fill site down the road as the chipper we bought last year was useless and had to be returned. DH then used the pick and his back to dig up all the stumps while I hand weeded the long tangley roots.

There was one old stump left from quite a large tree that had fallen years before. DH tried his best to tackle it but the stump won and we decided to just cut it flat and in the spring “deck” it over for a seating/harvest area.

We then ran our little YardWorks electric tiller ($149 from Canadian Tire) through the soil to dig up remaining roots and some large rocks. This little tiller is amazing; we have been using it for 3 years now and are still amazed with what it can go through.

I then “shaped” up the garden with all of the rocks we removed. This was a good use of the rock pile and helped me define the vegetable beds.

After this we staked up the raspberry canes with left over tree branches. Take notice to the tree trunks left in the ground. We decided to leave those in place to act as posts for a trellis for the rambling plants.

I then transplanted my herbs and the tree onions and asparagus to the outer edges which will form the “perennial edge” along with the Josta Berry, Gooseberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, and Currants.

We then screened a huge amount of soil taken from a deconstructed flower bed at the front of the house as well as an old pile we had out back, with this we mixed in a full heap of aged compost and several bags of lime.

After about 2 months of picking at this project here & there we finally finished it today, leveled out the soil, created the paths and cleaned up.

I laid out a plan for next spring so hopefully we will have a great harvest. We will use the 3 square-foot garden beds for Cucumbers, Tomatoes & Peppers.

We eat a lot of carrots and quite a bit of celery so I am still debating if I should plant out the remaining (??) rows with extras of those or to try something new. I prefer just to grow the foods that we eat.


(Red writing is hard to read)

So I am keeping my fingers crossed for a good season next year.

-- Xploreorganics, 5b Canada, LFD 06-20 http://colorfulcanary.blogspot.com/



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XploreOrganics

1393 posts in 3720 days
hardiness zone 5b

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vegetable bed

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16 comments so far

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3471 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 10-26-2008 08:30 PM

You have really thought this one out well. I like what I see.

Good for you to leave the 8 – 10 foot buffer at the back. You won’t regret this, at all.

I also like the fact that you were able to keep some tall tree trunks to act as stakes for posts for your trellis. I have often wished that I had some trees growing where I want to put a trellis, and then I wouldn’t have to dig through the rock and cedar roots.

I like the fact that you are growing what you eat. I used to do that at my old house where I had more room and flatter land. Here it is very difficult.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2290 posts in 3661 days

posted 10-26-2008 08:59 PM

I’ve tried about 40 times to re-invent what farmers have been doing for centuries with little luck.

I’m either stuborn or stupid, maybe both because this year the rows went from one end to the other, no breaks, no rows going off at 90 degrees to another, just nice long parrallel rows…............it made gardening a pleasure, less toil, more food.

The “look” of perpindicular rows is very appealling but my goodness does it add to the amount of time you gotta bust your back.

No one will ever talk me into that again…........nothing but straight parrallel lines here. and when the gas powered tiller is done, I either get another one or the garden goes back to grass, maybe get a small raised bed.

I guess I might be considered a lazy gardener (insert evil grin here)

Cheers

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 3719 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 10-26-2008 09:17 PM

Wow, a lot of back breaking work these last months for you and DH!! But what an awesome area you have created for your gardens. I really think you were so smart to leave that buffer of trees … and love, love the idea of the tree trunks as trellis’. What a marvelous idea!!!

I so enjoy seeing what you are doing with your “place” ... it seems that you have created such a welcoming and peaceful place. It must bring you such joy (when you are not tearing out trees ;-)).

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2290 posts in 3661 days

posted 10-26-2008 09:55 PM

the pictures make me feel tired…...................wow, that a lot of work.

Kudos to you and your mate!!

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3841 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 10-27-2008 05:27 AM

I’m worn out!!!! that is a LOT of work.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 3621 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 10-27-2008 08:50 AM

What a beautiful well laid out garden area X. I too think the tree buffer zone was a great idea.Congratulations to you and DH on all your hard work.I am sure you will be happy with this next summer when everything is growing and producing nicely.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View XploreOrganics's profile

XploreOrganics

1393 posts in 3720 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 10-27-2008 09:20 AM

Thanks all. Yes it was a good bit of work but I am pleased with it and can’t wait to see what it can produce next year. I was just back there this morning, picked one of the last fresh raspberries and just spent some time envisioning it all lush and green with bountiful vegetables. I am now already looking through the seed catalogues for short-season varieties.

I love winter for skiing but now I am anxious for spring to come..haha. Maybe I should just get DH to build a heated greenhouse over the entire thing so that I can start in right away :)

-- Xploreorganics, 5b Canada, LFD 06-20 http://colorfulcanary.blogspot.com/

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3471 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 10-27-2008 09:31 AM

I think he deserves a good long rest, after all the back breaking work done there. So do you. :)

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Zuki's profile

Zuki

64 posts in 3397 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 10-29-2008 06:47 PM

Build a what ? ! ?

There goes my plans for a Morris Chair and some carving. :-)

Oh . . . I’m X’s DH.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3471 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 10-29-2008 06:57 PM

Nothing wrong with a Morris chair. One can get one at a nice antique shop, if one looks long and hard. I can’t say they are the most comfortable chair, but then again, you are “young ‘uns”, comparatively speaking. LOL

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Russel's profile

Russel

74 posts in 3396 days

posted 10-29-2008 07:12 PM

Zuki, I feel your pain.

-- Everyone needs someone irrationally committed to their future.

View XploreOrganics's profile

XploreOrganics

1393 posts in 3720 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 10-29-2008 07:35 PM

Hey hey guys..no ganging up now…(wink) just remember what RedGreen sais…”If you don’t find him handsom at least find him handy”...ROLMAO…ok kidding.

-- Xploreorganics, 5b Canada, LFD 06-20 http://colorfulcanary.blogspot.com/

View Zuki's profile

Zuki

64 posts in 3397 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 10-29-2008 07:47 PM

Actually Jroot I was thinkng more of a Morris\Adirondac hybrid. Morris looks nice but less comfortable while the adirondac is comfortable but does not looks as nice. Been rolling the idea around in my head for a while now.

Pain . . . Russel did you see the face I made in the pick posing for the stump shot above. I actually strained a cheek muscle. :-)

Seriously though . . . I find garden work very rewarding. I see much more at the end of the day then when I’m paper pushing at work.

Gotta run

View slick1970's profile

slick1970

13 posts in 3391 days
hardiness zone 7b

posted 11-06-2008 08:33 PM

Ya’ll Folks had a plan and ya’ll conquered it! Great Job and I am worn out from all the work ya’ll did. I believe ya’ll will have a great garden for 2009.

-- David

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3104 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 07-20-2009 12:27 PM

I like the way you show your project progress step by step. It is amazing to see the changes you have made. I imagine you are really enjoying some of the fruits of that labor now.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Russel's profile

Russel

74 posts in 3396 days

posted 07-20-2009 01:54 PM

I find it slightly amusing that this topic has worked it’s way back up to the top of the list. With the stories that have been on here about the colder this year, it is almost appropriate to be planning for Spring 2009 in July 2009. For some of you northern folk, hopefully spring will come soon.

-- Everyone needs someone irrationally committed to their future.

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