My husband and I went to visit Turtle Barn Farm yesterday. Its a CSA garden or a “you-pick-it” garden, as the owner calls it. Sue and Tom were more than generous. They gave up almost 2 hours of a busy Saturday to give us a tour. Later, over a cup of tea, they shared some great tips on how to build raised beds, what to use for the layers – what worked for them and what didn’t. Tips on when to plant what and where, etc. The area they have planted in back of their house is about the size of my backyard – really encouraging to see how much they grow in such a small space. Sue has started planting some edibles in a front rose bed.
So, in a nutshell here are a few new things I learned: Start my layers with cow manure – draws up the earthworms, water well. Next layer is cardboard from a mattress or appliance store. Better than newspaper at keeping bermuda grass from coming up, water well. Next, is a layer of just common potting soil mixed with organic material like the stuff from my compost pile. Cow manure is better than horse manure because it won’t have near as many seeds in it. Cows have more stomachs and digest grasses and stuff better than horses so I won’t have as many weeds with cow manure. See what I mean? Such valuable information. Great stuff.
She recommended a variety of strawberries – Ozark everbearing – that she’s had the best luck with through trial and error. Its not a good idea to mix varieties, according to Sue, because it creates cross pollination and wierdness in general. June bearing varieties harvest all at once and you can get overloaded with strawberries, whereas the everbearing varieties produce all season.
Dill is best seeded directly in the soil and often reseeds itself from one season to the next.
I need to get my tomatoes started now.
I can grow lettuce during the summer along my fence row on the south where it will get shade.
Wait until May or June to plant my sweet potatoes. They do well in containers. No need to use valuable ground space for the spreading vines.
Here are a few pictures Enjoy. The last one is my own compost pile that I covered with black plastic today to cook for about the next six weeks until time to plant. My husband helped me turn it and hopefully the raw stuff will compost down by the end of March.
Ready for the next step! Buy the lumber for the beds and the manure and soil. Think it will be expensive this first year, but not so much from now on with seasonal amendments. Later, gator.
Keep it simple.
Oh, almost forgot. I added 2 new pages to the blog. 5 Things, where I will periodically list a few things that I love or hate or whatever just for fun, and Pantry where I have started a list of the foods I am stockpiling for when the economy totally tanks and things aren’t so easy to come by on a daily basis. I am learning how quickly things expire – that is except for canned ham. Not until 2020! We will be eating lots of ham after the apocalypse! 🙂