the little wild kingdom Dec 24, 2019 2:10:53 GMT -5
Post by flowerbug on Dec 24, 2019 2:10:53 GMT -5
i'm currently living with Mom and helping her out here. this place was not meant as a winter home and the design was not thought out ahead of time for the gardens or decorations but here i am and here i will be until i'm not sure when.
within the bounds of me being pretty much a natural techniques gardener and Mom being a lot more raze to death and all weeds must go kind of gardener somehow we find ways to laugh and get along even if i might scream in frustation within my head at times (like when i've had an area set up for soil improvement and kept it going for years and just get ready to use it when it gets sprayed with weed killer)... i'm trying to explain things to Mom but she doesn't always get it...
i do low till gardening as much as i can. i use worms and worm compost and green manure crops as much as possible for fertility. the heavy clay subsoil here is very good at holding nutrients and water. some parts of the lot have had topsoil and sand brought in, but most of the vegetable gardens inside the fence are either somewhat amended subsoil or in a few cases i've brought in topsoil and sand (but i'm renovating a large part of that this year so we'll see how it turns out for next summer's growing season).
once i've amended an area with the worms/worm compost it usually ends up being tomatoes, red peppers or onions grown there, and then i'll rotate a few other crops through if i can work the garden layouts that ways. beans and peas i'll put in where ever i can fit them. the strawberry patch might get some beans planted as a partial shade crop. depending upon how many other things i have going on (lately way too much).
at the end of the season i'll bury garden debris. we don't burn anything any more (we react badly to smoke and i would rather use the organic materials as worm food). this means i only dig up spots here or there to bury things and i leave the rest of the garden alone until i get back around to burying things again in that spot. so a normal garden may only be disturbed down a ways only 5-10% of the garden unless i'm doing some other major renovation... which doesn't happen often.
i've learned to dislike raised beds and smaller gardens. to me they are more work to keep up and i love being able to have more flexibility in how i plant a larger garden. so i'm removing extra pathways (wastes of space and more edges to keep up). if i have to weed something i prefer to have it be productive space. i'm also combining smaller gardens into larger ones as i get the chance to do it.
the space where most of the vegetable gardens are at is also low enough to be at risk of flash flooding. i have put up a berm to try to block the flow and redirect it, but i'm under no illusions that this might always work during extreme events. so far so good.
if they'd have known they were going to be doing so much gardening for sure they should have laid things out differently and brought in more topsoil and fill to get above the flash flood stage. still it is interesting to learn how to work with what is and how to deal with clay. i'm pretty sure i prefer mostly clay to mostly sand if given the choice...
speaking of choice the tools i use the most often are a flat bladed shovel, a stirrup/scuffle hoe, a large wooden handled knife and a ground pillow (when i need to do some fine weeding it can let me sit there on the ground instead of bending over so much). it never hurts to keep some extra buckets around and the hose for times when it gets too dry. we usually get enough rains so that it might not be needed but it does come in handy during planting.