(You’re welcome for putting that song into your head)
I was playing around in the dirt more today. Since I’m taking on this garden plot I want to make sure I have some idea how the dirt should feel when I’m working it. I don’t usually spend much time turning over the soil. I much rather prefer the sheet mulching/lasagna method of gardening. I don’t think I’ve ever turned over the soil in my beds. But, I went out there tonight with my potato fork and turned over the soil a little to see how it felt. A quick shove and the fork sunk all the way up to the handle. 6-8 inches easily. I couldn’t believe it. I’m feeling pretty good about my ability to build up nice friable soils, at least at home.
I got a good feel for how the soil feels so when I’m working up the garden plot I’ll know when it’s getting into the same kind of condition. You should have seen all the worms. Dozens and dozens per forkful. It’s amazing how nature works when you work with it instead of against it.
I also spent some time pulling up creeping charlie. Personally I don’t have a problem with creeping charlie, but my wife and my mother in law do. I’m trying to keep the chemicals off the lawn so I persist in pulling it up by hand. Today I used a garden rake and then my scuffle hoe to dig up the roots. Then I went around by hand and pulled up what I could find. After that I threw down a bunch of grass seed, watered it and then covered it with dried leaves. I hope the the grass will grow in and overcome the creeping charlie. If I can get the grass to take I’m going to turn the chickens loose there this summer or next so they can dig and till up the soil. Hopefully they will be able to eradicate the creeping charlie, if it’s still around.
I spent some time today drawing up a garden plan for the garden plot. If I had a way to get a picture up here on the site I would. I have a pdf copy of it and I don’t know how to get it on here for you all. Anyway, it was quite a bit of fun to draft it. I drew a 2 ft wide row down the middle of the plot and put a 1 ft wide row between each bed. That means each bed worked out to 48 sq ft. I really didn’t know what to do with all this space.
I’m planning to grow 4 different kinds of dried beans, along with regular green beans. Since I finally have the space I’m going to do 3 beds of the 3 sisters garden. I’m also going to do at least one bed of peanuts. If I have enough I’m going to plant two beds, which would replace one bed of green beans. (My mother in law brought me back some peanuts from Missouri to plant this year, but I didn’t think I would have space) I also am planning to plant 4 beds of potatoes, about half a bed of sweet potatoes and a bed and a half of assorted greens and lettuces. One bed is dedicated to carrots and one to winter squash. Watermelon and cantaloupe are going to share a bed and I’m putting the tomatoes in a row between onions, marigolds and carrots to help with pest control. Finally I have one bed dedicated to pumpkins.
There are 9 beds total so I can rotate the crops fairly easily. I’m trying to proceed a heavy feeder with a legume where possible, and in some instances I’m also following the heavy feeder with a legume.
All this planning is forcing me to get a lot more organized with my garden planning. That’s really good. I’m still not planning much for my home space (I don’t know why frankly) but it’s nice having a plan for the other space.