Oooo…I have been dreaming and planning this garden since we moved into the house 6 months ago!
It took me a while to decide where to place it, but we chose the backyard so that we can reach it easily with the waterhose and so I can look out the window/patio and see our food growing.
We thought about doing Lasagna Gardening, thanks to my sister telling me about it, but I decided to till the ground this year. For two reasons, one-the ground was pretty compact and it would have been a massive undertaking to get it prepped to plant. It probably would have worked if we started in the fall, but we didn’t move in early enough. Two-the wind out here is fierce and we wanted to use newspaper as our initial layering matter, but there is no way it would have stayed without some soil on top. So this year our wonderful, sweet neighbors tilled the area with their tractor. I’m hoping to avoid tilling the soil every year…we shall see how it goes! I’m still on the hunt for the perfect weed control/organic mulch. I want to avoid the black fabric if at all possible and straw doesn’t benefit the soil and our local hay has seeds. I’ve been hunting for a type of hay called Marsh Hay or Salt Hay that doesn’t have seeds, but it doesn’t seem to be available in Indiana. If anyone has ideas, let me know! For now I’ll be laying newspaper down and putting soil on top.
I bought my seeds from two seed/plant companies that offer non-GMO, organic seeds-Fedco and Garden Harvest Supply. I started my tomato, pepper and eggplant seeds indoors in mid March, which really wasn’t soon enough, but it worked. I had great germination rates using the Jiffy heating mats and the mini greenhouse kit they sell.
The kids were just as excited to get the seeds in the ground as I was (they get to choose some to grow as well) so we watched and waited for the last spring frost date and for the ground to be ready to till and plant. Last week we were supposed to get rain nearly everyday, but it held off and the ground was perfect for tilling by Thursday! It was a tilling/planting bonanza out here on Friday. The neighbors were putting their garden in, we were doing ours and the farmer next to us was prepping his field.
The kids, Damian and I worked all afternoon and into the evening, but we got the garden in! We’ve had large gardens in the past, but this one trumps them all. I still ran out of room so next years will be bigger…hehe.
I’m so excited to have all this food that will be grown in our own soil. Not to mention the organic, free range eggs and turkey we’ll have soon. The chickens and turkeys will be another post.
What’s a post without photos, right?
Child labor is great.
Christian’s row of corn.
Bella putting her row in.
24 hours after we planted it rained and has been lightly raining until today-perfect seed starting weather!
Here’s the layout. I try to plant the garden so that the plants benefit each other. For example the corn will help shade the peas that like cool weather and Marigolds help keep pests out of the garden so we plant those on the perimeter. For more info on that search “companion planting” or read the book Carrots Love Tomatoes.
Peas that were planted about 6 weeks ago.