Spring gardening

It’s early Spring now, and I’ve already planted beets, lettuce, leeks, spinach, carrots, broccoli raab and 2.5 pounds of fingerling potatoes. I’ve also been cleaning out the old gardens and spreading the new compost. My small orchard trees got their fair share of compost too. Recent inspection of the mature plum tree revealed lots of little plums growing. If we get some decent rain, we should have a good crop. It’s too soon to tell with the peaches, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The strawberry bed cleaned up nicely (photo), but I found a lot of the runners had escaped their protective confines.

So I transplanted all the runners, 24 of them, into one of the newly rebuilt beds. They took up half the bed. The deer have been in the yard at least once since I transplanted them, and they are unharmed. Dare I say the netting is working? It’s too soon to be confident after so many disasters. I am hopeful that strawberries will soon ripening. If not, my protected alpine strawberries in the back gardens are already flowering.

As you might expect, I’m running out of prepared growing space. The driveway garden will be converted to an insectary garden (a garden designed to attract beneficial insects) in preparation for the eventual arrival of a bee colony. So in the meantime, I need space for the summer crops: beans, corn, squash, peppers, basil, tomatoes and this year sesame. Therefore I’ve laid out three more gardens, one of which will hopefully be finished by April 15th for corn planting.

I used my Solar Pathfinder to make sure I had placed the gardens far enough from the Bradford pear to get a full day of sun from April through September. The frames are done, but as you can see, they’re on a slope, a 3 inch drop over 4 feet. I’m going to dig in the uphill side to level out the gardens, that way I won’t risk losing my irrigation water. Each garden will have a soaker hose and hoops. If you find a garden design that works in Bermuda Grass country, stick with it. This particular area of the yard, didn’t have much vegetative cover, so I don’t anticipate too much trouble. I’m going to overseed the walkways with clover and I made sure the walkways were wide enough for the mower.

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