As I realized that I did want to grow more of our own food, I knew I had to expand my garden space. I didn’t really know if I was over doing it, but I knew I wanted to grow a variety of food, but as I mentioned previously, I am tenacious. I knew also that I could try to can and store over the winter (like potatoes, winter squash, etc.). Below are some pictures of what I did during Sept-Oct 2014 in the west part of my yard.
I prepped the area like my previous gardens. Here is a picture after the black plastic was removed and covered with some compost. There was a gentle slope to the area, and I wasn’t sure how it would drain. I was going to figure that out as I went. This was part in the midst of the tilling. My friend let me borrow his roto-tiller, to which I am eternally grateful. Here, the soil has been tilled and raked into heaps for raised beds. I needed a fence to keep my dogs out, and I figured (as I did when I expanded the East garden) some white paint is cheap and would make it look nice. And make my current yard fence look bad and in desperate need of paint as well. Taking time to observe the elevation of the sun and it’s effect on my yard throughout the day, I saw that this part of the yard actually gets a significant amount of sun. I decided that this would be a good spot for fall/winter/early spring vegetables. I knew I needed hoop house to protect from the cold, and I even thought I might be able to extend the warmer weather plants like squash and tomatoes farther into the winter months. After some internet research, I decided that wooden raised beds would be the best for what I wanted to achieve. The wood would provide a stable base for the hoops, plus with the slope, drainage would wash away my soil. Containing it in wood was my answer.
I did research on whether pressure treated wood was ok for vegetable gardening. It seems the arsenic has been removed from the treatment formulation, but people are still suspicious. I saw an alternative and decided to go with it. I ordered some raw linseed oil from Amazon and painted it and let soak into the wood. I am hoping this will be a good barrier to insects and mold/rot.So here the garden in its current form. All beds are 12″ high. There are four 4′ x 12′ beds and three 5′ x 8′ beds. I mulched the walkways with some free pine wood chips the city dumps in a spot about a mile from my house. Free is for me, and I can lay it down as thick as I want. I did not observe any erosion from that last rain we had, which was significant.
And here panoramic shot from a different angle. Probably this weekend I will shop for the hoop house supplies. I have been doing some research to find the best approach, or the one I like I should say. I think I want a few of them to be higher to accommodate tomatoes and peppers. 🙂