Life at Johnny’s Garden has certainly been a living learning growing experience. We learn something new all the time which requires an adjustment to the way we think and how we do things. Who would have known for instance that racoons were such a nuisance or that the tension among the birds was because we had two male geese and not a male and female like we thought. Live and learn. And that has certainly been the theme with the garden too. This will be our third season here at Johnny’s Garden and each year has seen a new garden layout based on the previous years observations. This year is no different. This year we are building raised beds for the garden and green house. If you’ll remember, our garden space used to look like this.
See that little person back there? Yes the weeds were that tall.
The space was completely covered in grass, weeds and trumpet vines and had been for years. If we so much as blink in the summer it will revert to that state.
And while irrigating is a wonderful source of virtually free water it does come with a cost. Seeds. And not the kind we planted. Gardening for the past two years has essentially been a race to try and keep the weeds from eating the vegetables. Most people don’t care much for weeding. I happen to enjoy it, I’m weird that way, but seriously this is more than a little recreational weeding we’re talking about. We have a LARGE garden.
All of this. Garden.
All of this garden that has to be weeded. Regularly. Everyday. It looks pretty good here. That’s because I took the picture of the part that looks good.
Here not so good, someone blinked.
So raised beds. Raised beds will dramatically reduce the weeds we have, in fact after this year our weed problem should be all but eliminated. It will also allow us to raise more plants in less space and maintain the conditions and types of soil most suitable to the plants being grown in each box. Row covers can easily be made and applied when needed. I’m hopeful that it will also allow the chickens ducks and geese back into the garden. Geese are grazers and would love to help keep things looking tidy.
Unfortunately we won’t be have boxes for the entire garden built this year but we will have a good start. This is what we have so far.
Different size beds for different plants. The larger square one in the back will be for potatoes, the long narrow ones for green beans. You may notice that the bottom board seems to be missing on the ends. This is intentional and intended to allow irrigation water into the bed filtered through heavy duty commercial strength landscape cloth to keep unwanted seeds out. There is exactly enough space in between each bed for the lawn mower to fit. Eventually we’d like to have beds for everything except maybe corn but that won’t happen this year. We will build a few more beds in the next few weeks but that will be it for this year.
The rest of the garden is nearly ready thanks to this handy plow Don borrowed in exchange for some tractor work he did for a neighbor.
This plow is a very satisfying piece of machinery, look at it go. Vroom, right past dinner time.