Garden, in the Beginning There Were Plants

I have been trying to get to this post since we first put our plants in the ground at the end of February. All the projects and things we have going on, and I really wanted to do my garden justice with a really nice review of our plan… so realize that this is a retroactive post, and I will post a more recent update soon. 🙂c7335-20140715_083406 A few years ago (posts 1, and post 2), Michael built these large boxes and we filled the bottoms with straw  bales and then filled the tops with a dump truck worth of compost/garden soil.

Since our chickens were still loose the boxes ended up not getting used Eventually the weather destroyed them. We knew they were temporary, but had hoped to use them before they broke down.

This season, after a botched job last year, we were able to put in a moderate chicken coop for our ladies, and that meant we could finally (again) have a garden. image

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imageMichael was able to salvage enough materials around the yard
and in our back house to build 4 new boxes. He just encased the old box with new material and stripped out the old frame letting the dirt settle into the new boxes. We were able to salvage all  the soil.

Our plan was to plant seeds for our summer veggies and Michael purchased store-bought starts for some winter veggies.  You can see kale, collard greens, cabbages and onions in the closer box on the right, and back left we had more cabbage, swiss chard and more
onions.

I planted various seeds in a small portable greenhouse. Toward the end of February we had  nice weather which prompted the building and planting.  I thought we were safe for seed sprouting. I swear, not even a day after we planted (ok maybe a week), we received a storm front that lasted at about 3 weeks! The first day of which blew over my small greenhouse and dumped all my seeds. I salvaged as much as I could of the soil inside the greenhouse before I righted it.

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In the cinder block garden bed, Michael planted a bunch of old sugar snap pea seeds. We didn’t think many would grow so we wanted to be doubly sure to get at least SOME.

 

 

The dirt I salvaged from the greenhouse, later began sprouting “volunteers”. I am pretty sure 2 of them are squash of some kind… the other I am not sure.

 

Our swiss chard developed leaf miners, which we controlled through “pruning” the infected leaves and feeding them to our chickens. Our apple tree attracted aphids. These we sprayed with my citrus vinegar spray cut with water, which greatly reduced their numbers. Then just checked every day and removed the few hold-outs with our fingers.

 

We purchased our fuji apple tree as a bare root tree from Lowes home supply store. We pruned it back to three branches, and I painted the trunk with white wash to protect from the sun. At first we just planted it in a mound of leftover compost soil, but it was eroding to fast when we watered and the water wasn’t penetrating enough. We boxed it in, and so far, it seems to like its new home.

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Just on a side note, here is my fig tree. The only tree I had managed to keep alive until now. I am  thinking that figs trees must actually be weeds, since I haven’t managed to kill it. It has been with us for about at least 6 or 7 years now.

So there you have some of our progress. I hope to post more on our garden soon.

 

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