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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Vegetable Garden Update Part 2

Today was another good work day in the vegetable garden. I managed to get all the mulch laid on the pathways and even added a few stepping stones in one section. I'll add a few more every now and then and eventually I'll have them around the whole garden. As I was working around the garden putting the mulch down I realized that the outside edges are not quite wide enough to conveniently maneuver the wheelbarrow. Fortunately the permanent fence isn't built yet and I can widen the outside paths as necessary.  Here's a before and after look at the vegetable garden.  The first picture is the garden without mulch.  The second is with mulch. I'll try to get some more pictures of the garden from the ground soon.


Pathways are important in gardens to avoid compaction in the growing areas. Compacted soil is harder for roots to penetrate which isn't good for plants. Eventually I'd like to add in some steppable ground covers like elfin thyme to cover the pathways interspersed with the stepping stones.  

What's left to do?
  • Till the 6'x10' vegetable beds. 
  • Make the outside perennial and flower beds.
  • Plant the vegetables.
  • Build the fence.
There's still plenty of work ahead! Isn't that always true?

15 comments :

  1. Dave .. you are so well organized ! Everything looks perfect and ready to go : )
    Hey .. can you mail me some veggies when you have the bumper crop I know you WILL ! LOL

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  2. Dave,
    The garden is looking great, all you need now is lots of GREEN. When I want mulch I get it a the landfill for next to nothing.

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  3. Wow Dave- you did that very fast! I love it. I was just out looking at mine and soon I should be able to plant peas and the like. I think those will tolerate some decent frost in our area. I like the layout of the garden:D
    -Heather

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  4. It looks great! It's going to be fun to see it all finished. A fun ground cover that's pretty tough is corsican mint. It smells like chocolate mint, my girls love it.

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  5. You've accomplished a lot, Dave! I haven't even started any plants yet. :) Everything looks grand.

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  6. You make me wish I had a bigger yard. :D

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  7. It is a great feeling of accomplishment doing all that work. Before you know it, the plants will be growing. Ahhhhhh..

    A good feeling.

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  8. Dave,
    Wow, you are growing so fast. All this prep work is SO worth it. In the long run you will be so glad you took the time to create the foundation so well. What do you use to mulch your veggies with? My veggie garden is all popping out of the ground very fast... the pole beans just started curling their way up the stakes... so fun.
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

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  9. Thanks everyone for your comments! I've been outside all weekend and didn't have much of an opportunity to respond. OK well I could have it just would have meant coming inside! It was too nice of a weekend for that.

    Randy,

    Green is coming, I'm working on that too. We have a few things beginning to come up that I'll show soon. Radishes, spinach, a couple of sugar snap peas, and a nice looking 4'x6' bed of strawberries ought to work for green!

    meems,

    You are definitely right, good prep work makes all the difference in a great garden. My parents who live nearby have several pine trees that drop needles each year. I'm going to use those needles for covering the vegetable garden. Cheap and effective mulches are perfect!

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  10. Catherine,

    I'm looking into that Corsican mint, thanks for the suggestion!

    Joy,

    I'm not sure how to mail veggies, do you think Dave would like some? ;)

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  11. Dave,
    I've taken about 30 minutes to look around your awe inspiring, and very informative blog. I found you when I went looking to see what a seedling or sprout of a coneflower might look like so I'd know what to be looking for this summer when mine "hopefully" wake up. I'm in Western New York, so I'm a bit behind you in spring planning, but I have tons of questions and could certainly use your hands-on knowledge. I've got Snowhill and Purple Salvia, White Coneflower, Liatris, Russian Sage, and a couple of others that I'm hoping come back for me this year. Last year was their first year in the garden, and my first year tending to them. I've also started Canna's and Dahlia's inside this year for early blooms this summer. I suppose I really need to start a calendar of when things start to come up, maybe even take a couple of pictures as they do? Do you do this? Do you have canna's? Can you recommend any other climate happy sun perennials? Thanks for such a great and inspirational blog!

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  12. I'm a new vegetable gardener and I'm in the process of building a fence to keep the varments out. What is the advantage to raised beds as opposed to planting in prepared beds,thanks!

    Bill

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  13. Niartist,

    Thank you for the compliment, I'm glad you could find something useful! I have many of the same perennials you mentioned so quite a few of the plants I have here may work where you are. One of my favorites is Gaillardia. 'Oranges and Lemons', 'Arizona Sun', and 'Goblin' are great choices. I'm also fond of silver foliage on Artemisia. I planted 'Silver Mound' last year and have 'Powis Castle' that needs to be planted when I get the chance. I planted some Cannas last year but I'm not sure if they will come back we'll see though! Rudbeckias will work very good and can be easily established from seed. As for a record your looking at most of it! This blog is a great way for me to record plants in the garden. I do write down the plants I want to purchase each year and make a list of plants I want to try propagating. Writing down those things helps me to plan ahead.

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  14. Bill,

    That's a good question! The biggest advantage is that you get to make your own soil. So many people live in areas where the soil is sketchy at best. Clay and rock are all over our state which aren't necessarily great mediums for growing plants. Raised beds are easier to weed since the beds are higher. You can plant more plants in a smaller space since you can control the nutrients in the soil much better than in the ground. They are also less likely to lose nutrients due to water erosion. I did a post last year about the benefits of gardening in raised beds that has more detail. Raised beds are definitely my preferred way to garden. I hope that helps!

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Dave

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