Planning the 2018 garden is already in the beginning stage. Our garden this year was a waste. Except for the food we ate from it like lettuce, tomatoes, kale and herbs. Larry had too many projects going that he couldn’t stop doing to work in the garden. Bugs were extremely bad and I am not one to whine about them too much. I got some pretty bad stings and bites. In one of the raised beds I uncovered a yellow jacket underground nest! I stayed away from that area. We also had numerous mice and moles digging everywhere. Our two cats were killing at least two a day for awhile. That is reason enough to leave the garter snakes alone. They like to eat the mice and moles, but I wish they would leave my frogs alone! I once rescued one from a snake in the process of eating it.
When Larry finished some of the major projects we had going on (I’ll share them with you in a future post), he removed the wood raised beds on the side of the house. I was sad to see them go, as I had spent many happy days in those beds. I remember the cats out there with me or even longer ago when I had my pet red hen, Lil’ Red, following me around the garden while I worked. A very peaceful way to spend a day. It was just too much for us to manage. We had fifteen total beds, seven wood ones on the side of the house and six rock ones in the backyard. Then there are two block ones where the guy wires for the wind turbine are anchored. Add in the fact that I am having trouble getting around and my poor husband ends up doing all the hard work. He doesn’t complain though. At least not to me.
Some of the rock beds in the garden are huge and keeping the weeds down in them is a major job. We plan on changing one or two of them into a hoop house so we can get a head start on the gardening season here in NY. The area where the wood raised beds was is going to be a small fruit orchard with fruit trees and some berry bushes. We have talked of doing this for some time now and next year is the year. No more excuses!
As I have been analyzing our garden and what we want to grow, I found these ideas to implement in the garden next year:
- Two soil test kits. One for the PH and one for minerals.
- Find a good method to start the seeds in the house that keeps them warm.
- Fruit trees and bushes in the side garden area.
- Order “Blight Free” tomato seeds (NON-GMO hybrids) or we will never have any growing again.
- Use Ruth Stout’s “no dig” method of growing potatoes.
- Mulch all the beds and make them as “weed free” as possible.
- Next fall (2018) plant a cover crop in them and maybe in the paddock too.
- Plant a strawberry bed in several hanging baskets or bags.
- Build trellis for vine plants.
- Tomato cages and red mulch for the tomato plants.
It sounds like a lot to do but I think buying the items needed will be the most difficult. So going to buy them little by little over the winter so in the spring we are prepared. Once that is accomplished our gardening time will be much more enjoyable. Especially harvest season!
Copyright © 2017 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2017 Kathleen G. Lupole