06 May 2008

Thinking Way Ahead


In the world of "What ifs," Meg and I have contemplated the possibility of renting for another year or two and what that would mean for the garden. The idea we are tossing around is joining the herb garden with the vegetable garden to create what would be a 3,000 square foot backyard market.

I took this photo from the far edge of the herb garden furthest away from the vegetable garden. If you look to the far right of the photo you can see a little concrete pillar (it's a stand for the birdbath), that marks where the herb garden ends. (I know it doesn't look like much of an herb garden now, but Meg, myself, and Steveo have big plans for it's rejuvenation later this month.) The grass area from the concrete pillar to the garden fence would be double dug and fenced in. It would be a shit load of work for someone else's property, so I hope we can get out of here before it gets to that. Like I said, it's a "What if."

8 comments:

Anna said...

I lived through at least 27 what if's when we lived the military life. I feel your pain and possiblities. When I did take the big plunge--I learned a lot and left a lot of mistakes behind. There was lots of starting over and making things better each time so it wasn't all bad. Raised beds might be the best and cheapest.

Good luck.

seeded said...

That would indeed be a lot of work. Now's supposed to be a good time to be buying a house, you know...

If it does come to that, perhaps you could try making lasagna beds or some other no-dig method, to cut down on the work?

Jean Ann said...

Same questions we ask of ourselves...we are renting right now, but want to buy in the "future"...when is that? how much should we put into our existing property? It goes on and on...

Phelan said...

I would say go for it. . . if you do plan on staying there longer.

Good luck with it all

Patrick said...

Trust me, the what-if's never stop. Once you own your own place, you will always be considering moving and all kinds of other what-if issues. Sometimes, you just need to roll up your sleeves, and get on with things, even if you know it's only for the short term.

I agree with seeded. Instead of double digging, consider putting down a layer of cardboard or several layers of newspapers, followed by some of your compost. Then sow seeds directly into the compost. The weeds underneath will mostly die, and the roots of the new plants will just go through the mulching layer.

No-dig methods are better for your back, and control weeds better. Anytime you disturb ground by digging it, you make the weed problem worse. You expose weed seeds that are buried in the ground, and digging doesn't usually work well for removing weeds, because you leave pieces of the roots in the ground. Controlling weeds with mulching layers works better and faster.

El said...

I agree: skip the double digging, it's a waste of time. Read a book called Teaming With Microbes (Lowenfels, et.al.) and you'll see the wisdom of this. I have clay soil so I have to add stuff on top of it if I am ever to harvest anything! But I do till to make new beds. Got access to a tiller? Even if it hurts the ground critters initially it keeps me gardening earlier than simple back labor.

Garden plans never end. Even if you plan on pulling up stakes after this season, you might as well maximize your harvest there this summer. My 2c, but it's not my sweat ;)

Marc said...

I agree with the previous commenters about not digging so much. And as far as whether or not to create the garden, I always say use what you have where you are. If you don't because you want to move and then you don't move, you will be mad every time you look at that part of the yard.

We keep contemplating buying a farm in order to have more space for gardening. I held off adding things for years because of this. Now I have the "if onlys" when I think back that I didn't start that berry patch 3 years ago like I thought about.

Whatever you do, keep enjoying the gardening that you can do. Good luck!

Kelly said...

Hey everyone,
Thanks for all the comments. If we do decide to join the gardens I think we will take your collective advice and skip the digging part. When we dug the current garden space, we were wiped out for a good day or two.

If we do this it will be for next year (It looks like we will be here for a bit longer). Right now we're looking to see what kind of sun the area receives throughout the day. The landlord loves trees, which is nice, but it limits the space where we can get a good solid day of full sun. We'll be sure to let you all know what we decide.