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Growing Again

May 28th, 2015

I like the zone aspect of permaculture, where you keep things you need close to the house and things you don’t need to access quite as often farther away. As I go about my days, I watch my habits and traffic patterns around the garden. The result is that I visit the back potager and lower gardens much more often than the main edible garden up behind the garage. That’s why I decided to expand the edible garden areas a little around the house.
growing again
Areas that are difficult to mow are always the first to get changed over from sod to garden space. Areas prone to weed infestation are also first to get switched. This area below the house is south facing and was always a huge pain to mow. Last summer I put down cardboard and covered it with grass clippings. This year I had to dig out a few tenacious weeds, but there weren’t too many.
Then I planted it with tomatoes and peppers. I’m thinking about moving my boxwood hedge down here. Eventually it will be filled with perennials, but that won’t happen until the weeds are fully under control. I like to plant beds in annuals for a year or two before planting perennials. It’s much easier to dig out any weed that pop up when the plants aren’t permanent. Annuals also appreciate the structure of freshly worked soil, perennials do better after the soil has settled a bit.

Are you expanding your gardens this year?

5 Comments to “Growing Again”
  1. melissa on May 28, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Love your blog!
    Last year I planted boxwoods near my front door which is on the north east side of the house, however protected by a stone ledge from strong winds. I live in the zone 5 B in Milwaukee, and purposely picked varieties that do better in the cold. But several of the boxwoods had winter kill/die back. I didn’t feel like it was a terribly cold winter. Do you protect your boxwoods with burlap every winter?

    I also upgraded my garden this year, and made it quite a bit larger. I’ve been having fun planning out all the room for my new crop of onions which I’ve never grown before. Now lots more room for more tomatoes, eggplants, and beans.

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  2. whit on May 28, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Amen! I wish I could redesign our farm because huge spaces of grass have been left near the house that animals could benefit from. Most of the land is permanently fenced, so it is hard to change much, without lots of cash and creating lots of waste. We are constantly adding to our garden, with all the chicken bedding we use. We’ll be adding sheep bedding to the garden soon. I am so excited for the day that we won’t have to buy moo doo for the garden beds! This year (our 3rd here) we are adding many blueberries to a paddock that is so wet all year round that we never have to water. We are also adding more raspberries to our fence lines. The garden is big enough, we will be able to add corn for the first time this year. Going to try a blue corn from Seed Savers.

    Happy planting today!

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  3. Toni on May 28, 2015 at 10:24 am

    I love your blog and I wish we could live on our own homestead, but since we are closing in on our 70’s, its just not in the cards for us. So, we live in a retirement community and we have to be careful just what we do with our gardening. I have 3 4′ square raised beds for veggies and herbs, and I tuck herbs in wherever I can. We are, however, gradually getting rid of our front lawn (really a weed infested meadow) and replacing it with perennials, native plants and bark (the acceptable ground cover). We get rid of as many weeds as we can, cover the ground with cardboard, then weed block, then bark. Then we make holes for the desirable plants.Still we have to pull up the determined weeds. But over all it looks a lot better!

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  4. Megan on May 28, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I’m still working on removing the remainder of the sod in my front yard, which will finally mean the entire property is grass-free! I’m excited, but it is such a long process for us to do it by hand, and living in the city, it is harder to find ways to re-use/dispose of the sod. But, I am very excited! The front yard will eventually have some raised beds for growing more edibles, but the rest will be perennials. I’ve never considered just planting new beds with annuals for the first couple of years – I really like this idea!

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  5. Nebraska Dave on May 29, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Susy, expansion and change just seem to be in a gardener’s nature, don’t you think? My garden plans are never set in stone until the seeds are in the ground. Even my best laid plans are up for change when I get into the garden. This year has been a year when I’ve followed the plans the most but even then things have changed as garden life goes on. My garden days are work a little, rest a lot, and drink lots of water. So in my resting time, I’m always thinking about how the garden should look. It’s been good to contemplate the lay of the land and picture different scenarios in my mind. Terra Nova Gardens still has a long way to go.

    Have a great day expanding and changing the gardens.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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