The New Garden

A wide shot of the garden area.
A wide shot of the garden area.

When we were looking for houses last summer, the building itself definitely caught our eye, but the extra lot next to the house was the real selling point.  If we weren’t going to live further out in the countryside, we’d at least like to have the space to grow a metric ton of produce and still have chickens like we’d had in St. Louis and Iowa.

We tried killing off some of the grass over the winter by covering patches of the property with large tarps, yet all that seemed to do was store leaves, sticks and live grass for the spring.  In the end, we ended up borrowing our neighbors front-tine tiller and renting a rear-tine tiller to get a bit deeper and pull all the sod off.  Though we’re still dealing with some grass trying to reclaim their previous home, the tilling generally worked alright.  We’ve currently put in two plots: one larger, the other smaller.  Next year, we’ll add another plot that’s the same size as the larger one, but for now, we figured we should start with something manageable.

So far, Brooke has planted peas and carrots, with radishes yet to go in this weekend.  We didn’t have much luck with peas up in Iowa, but we’re hopeful that planting them a bit earlier will make a difference.

Ultimately, we’ll put corn, green beans, soup beans, tomatoes, and peppers in the ground between the two plots currently dug out.  A third plot will go in next year, but more on that in a bit…

Spinach and lettuce in the cold frame.
Spinach and lettuce in the cold frame.

Brooke also set up the cold frame we picked up at an end-of-the-season sale in Iowa, this time with lettuce and spinach.  We tried putting herbs in it in St. Louis, but didn’t find much success.  I think we got a little lettuce out of it, but probably not much beyond the paltry salad or two.  Based on our current trajectory, I think we’re off to a better start…

Blackberries and raspberries.
Blackberries and raspberries.

As I said, we’ve got two plots going right now: one larger, one smaller.  The larger one will be replicated next year, giving us two of the same size.  The smaller one, however, will live on its lonesome, and in its twin’s place, we’ll put in some bushes.  That is, we already have put in some bushes, but more will likely grace that location in the future.  Currently, raspberries and blackberries are already in, some of which we may already harvest by the end of this year, yet we suspect it won’t be until at least next year when we start getting enough to write home about.  Ultimately, we’ll probably put some hops there and maybe some other bushes.  Brooke also has some blueberry bushes to put in, but we haven’t decided if they’ll go in this plot, or if we’ll put them somewhere else.

We haven’t picked them up yet, but we’re also planning on putting some fruit trees closer to the road, at the far side of the first image posted above.  Cherries, apples, and quince are currently on the docket, though we may add another (pears?).  I’d never heard of quince until last year, but apparently they’re a fruit you wouldn’t necessarily want to take a bite out of, yet they have high concentrations of pectin, meaning that you could add quince to your preserves to somewhat naturally produce jellies and jams, among other things.  Seems interesting, at least, and they should do fine in our climate.

Other than that, I’m all for adding more garden space.  The more the merrier.

Less space for me to mow…

2 thoughts on “The New Garden”

    1. A little, yeah. Though, really, this dirt seems fine: just full of roots. So it’s quite a bit harder to work with than what we had up in Iowa. I’m hoping that one or two growing seasons will take care of that for us, though!

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