Even though our snow on the ground is still measured in feet rather than inches, I've been thinking a lot lately about our veggie and fruit gardens. I don't know if any of this will be of interest at all to you, but I'm hoping getting my thoughts written out will help me. Feel free to skip on by as I blather on. I think the log jam in my head may fill up more than one post.
Our gardens are comprised of five different plots or parts. We have the raised beds, the field garden, the pumpkin patch, strawberry patch, blueberry patch and raspberry patch. Whoops. That counts up to six. But since the strawberry patch is currently located within the area I call the field garden, I'm not counting the strawberry plantings as a separate plot. But maybe I should. Confused yet?
When we first moved to this piece of property fifteen years ago, a large part of the area to the south of the house, which was the best orientation for gardening, had been used as a huge parking area for trucks and was covered with gravel. We scraped off the gravel but knew the soil wouldn't be worth much for immediate gardening use. So we built a series of 4' x 8' raised beds, had some black dirt hauled in, started composting with a vengeance and built up the soil for the beds as quickly as we could. We currently have and use 26 of these garden beds.
I knew I wanted a more traditional area for growing certain crops not as well suited for raised beds so in the next couple of years we plowed up the sod in another spot that became what I call the field garden. It measures 35' x 45'. Within this space is our permanent strawberry patch which measures about 16' x 16'.
Just three years ago, we plowed up a 14' x 23' piece of ground, the pumpkin patch, where I can grow pumpkins and squash without their vines encroaching upon other veggies. As soon as we get the soil in good enough shape, I plan on rotating crops between this area and the field garden so I'm not always growing only pumpkins and squash on that plot.
We have a raspberry patch containing three 14' long rows of well-established raspberry plants.
In a plot next to the raspberries are 22 blueberry plants which are finally coming into their own.
So the raised beds, field garden (containing the strawberry patch), pumpkin patch, raspberry patch and blueberry patch make up the five parts of our garden.
We also have eleven fruit trees scattered over what is lawn/yard area. They have just recently started to contribute significantly to our food stock.
We've still got too much lawn to mow, but that's another problem to tackle farther on down the list. Most likely, we'll add more fruit and (if possible) nut trees in the lawn area. A good-sized garden shed somewhere near the gardens would be very handy and eliminate some grass that presently has to be kept mowed.
The soil in our garden beds is excellent and enables me to plant very intensively in them.
Soil in the field garden is very good and we keep improving it every year. The soil currently grows good crops with few problems.
The pumpkin patch soil is coming along nicely and gets better each year.
So you can see we're not lacking for gardening space. Matter of fact, I've finally come to the realization that I have to cut back on growing so much. I'm putting a lot of effort into growing way more food than we need.
More on all of this in another post as soon as I get more thoughts straightened out so I can set them down in sensible form.
P.S. Hi, Marja!
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