Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Vegetable Garden Layout Revisited

I suppose it's human nature to second guess oneself and lately I've been wondering if the vegetable garden layout I decided to make was designed the best way. It's very functional and all the vegetables have been growing wonderfully (until a couple pests came along, but that isn't related to the garden's layout.) Aesthetically the layout works well and there is plenty of space for our little vegetable crop, but there are a few things that could be tweaked.



Right now the area inside the rabbit fence is grass. Having grass inside the garden creates a small problem: it's inconvenient to mow around the irregular shapes. Mowing near the fence is difficult since the mower gets caught in the fencing. Around the beds I just can't get close enough to get all the grass and either a trimmer or a set of shears is needed to make the area look good. It might have been made easier if I had just done simple rectangular beds. My solution (that I haven't gotten to yet) is to take cardboard and lay it down over the grass then mulch. If I have mulch there the mowing won't be necessary. I would eventually like to have a steppable ground cover like elfin thyme covering the mulched areas. I've considered a gravel based mulch but I've heard some people swear against. Please don't swear as this is a family friendly blog but what do you think?

The beds are almost four feet across which makes planting in the center hard to reach. Planting in two rows should work better for next year. A three foot width would probably have worked well but I like having the extra space.

I still have some work to do. The outside perennial bed isn't ready yet. The left side is started and has been planted rather haphazardly. A mixture of "whatever I didn't have a spot for" seems to find the ring. The one ring. The one to hold them all and in the garden bind them. OK that's enough channeling my inner Tolkien. So far I only have one butterfly bush planted there. It's the one in the lower left that came from a cutting I made over the winter. I know he's glad to be planted. Daylilies, sunflowers, a canna lily, zinnias, a scarlet runner bean, and some cosmos have all found a home in the ring. Hodgepodge doesn't even begin to describe it. Eventually I'll move those plants into a better home, but for now the ring is their home.

I need to fashion a gate for each side. Right now I have creatively (or really, cheaply) allowed the fencing to overlap so it will form a flexible gate at each end. It seems to work since I haven't had any bunny attacks in the vegetable garden. Two wooden picket fence-like gates are on the agenda, just somewhere toward the bottom this season's list.

I would like to expand the ring a couple feet outward but that will have to wait for now. It's getting hot in Tennessee and planting might have to wait a while.

There's always too much to do isn't there?


7 comments :

  1. Spread hay is working for me as a deterrent to grass/weed in the veggie garden area. I am still stepping over our little bunny fence. LOL...

    I believe we all rethink things once we have a moment to sit back and think it through. Unfortunately we are so eager to get things into the ground that we just jump in shovel first without thinking. Just wanna dig in the dirt and plant something NOW...

    Have a good weekend...

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  2. I won't swear now, but the time I put down pea gravel in my walkways, I was saying ugly words. Now, I have pored pathways and Oklahoma sandstone pavers. To keep them grass free, I use boiling water to cook the weeds and grass. I should have thought of that when I had gravel. It would have worked.

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  3. It all sounds good. No grass in the garden. I am with Aunt Debbi, no small rocks in the garden-they migrate. Pavers sound good or just plain old hay like Skeeter until you can put in something permanent.

    I bought my metal gates at the once a month Nashville Flea Market at the fairground. They were all ideal. I got three for about $100. All metal. Two are the same and one is different. I took measurements with me and lucked out but he did have a ton of gates. You might check it out. I think the flea market is this weekend! I need to go again. I go about once a year and this weekend would be ideal.

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  4. Your design looks like a nice mosaic glass window! I like it!

    Gail

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  5. I immediately thought the same thing as Gail -- your design looks like a lovely, stained glass suncatcher. :) It should be wonderful.

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  6. Your design looks great! Really inspires me to try to learn how to landscape my garden and plan it more carefully next year

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  7. I took all my wooden mulch out around the house because of ant infestation. I dislike sprays and it seemed to diminish the ants. But the plants require more water it seems. If you have room leave an area between rows, or in this case arcs? That are untilled. The earth will be compacted and less open to stray seeds, weeds. I often get boards from construction sites I work on 2x8'S and such discarded after using them for concrete forms and lay them between rows. They are free, you don't have to get muddy when it rains, and they retard weeds.

    Bear

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