This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he always thought the garden was his. Even though I do all the work, he always stood by me. I'm located near Boston (in USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot and a backyard vegetable garden. I use sustainable organic methods and try to grow all of my family's vegetables.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

my new community garden plot

My new plot measures 12 ft by 21 ft. Its in the full sun, with the exception of a nice little lilac bush just outside of the plot in the northeast corner. It is surrounded by a low border of stones. No fence yet - that's one of the things on my to-do list. It up on a little rise, maybe a foot or so higher than most of the plots, which are to the south and west of mine. The plot itself is level.

The plot is on the east edge of the gardens, with no one to my east side. I border on a wide open meadow. I have a good view of a nesting box with a pair of bluebirds. I share my north fence with a friendly new gardener, who is thrilled to now have more space than her apartment stairwell for gardening. The other sides are paths.

The soil is very dark and rich as this plot appears to have been tended well over the years. It had some debris from last year's crop on it when I began work yesterday. I removed tomato vines, rosemary and basil plants. There is a nice oregano plant that I left in the northwest corner, and a few mini rose bushes that I left along the north edge. I also helped myself to some rhubarb that was discovered in a abandoned plot and put this in the northeast corner under the lilac bush.

While working my plot, the plot's gardener from last year came over and introduced herself. She said the plot was heavily shaded last year by trees to the east that were removed this fall as part of a restoration project of the adjacent meadow. She admired how sunny the plot was now, but said she just wanted to start fresh on a new plot. She now has a nice new plot, too.

Yesterday I cleaned debris from the plot and started turning the soil. I figure I'll just turn the whole plot first and then mark out beds. I may see if I can make raised beds using timber from old pallets available for free from the hardware/garden store nearby. I collected a soil sample to send out for analysis.

Things to do:
1. Make a good fence, high enough for deer, since I'm on the outside edge of the gardens.
2. Finish turning the soil.
3. Send out my soil sample.
4. Make an area with some shade for Skippy and a bench for me.
5. Remember to wear sunscreen and a hat next time I go there. (I have a red face from yesterday as I'm not used to gardening in the sun.)
6. Pick up the free pallets useful for raised beds, bench, shade arbor or fence.
7. Mark out beds. Make raised beds. Line with wood or maybe leave unlined this year.
8. Bring in wood chips for paths (supplied by town).
9. Find another garden shovel to leave at the plot.
10. Move my two espaliered pear trees to the plot edge on the new fence.
11. PLANT! Its already time to plant most of what I'm planning to grow there.

Belmont Victory Garden


Blogger Gina said...

kathy - thanks for the update. was it the wait? I can't wait to see the first pictures and then watch your plot's progression over the summer. Since you seem to also be planting at home, do you think you'll have enough time to tend both areas? do you have a schedule?

April 13, 2008 9:25 AM

Blogger alec said...

what are you planting there? i am so happy for you!you should try to utilize edward c smiths gardening philosophy now thatyou have the room.

April 13, 2008 10:02 AM

Blogger kathy said...

It was worth the wait and I'm having a lot of fun planning now that I know what the plot is like. I probably probably don't have enough time. Oh well...

My schedule is still the time line posted near the top of my side bar under "my spring planting time line". The link for the crops for the community garden are in the "drawing of my garden plan".

Its a good idea to use the WORD system from the Gardeners Bible. As I understand, the main point is wide rows or beds rather than rows. And dig the soil deep.

April 13, 2008 3:14 PM

OpenID sjones71 said...

It looks great! What a blast you are going to have - especially hanging out with the other gardeners. So much for you to pass on to them and vice versa. Just a great thing. Enjoy!

April 13, 2008 3:55 PM

Blogger Matron said...

That soil does look nice and dark. You should have fantastic results on that soil. Great photo of Skippy too! xxx

April 14, 2008 4:07 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Skippy didn't want to leave the plot this morning. I just went over a little while to dig a bit. He wouldn't leave. I had to tug on him. I wanted to stay too... It's very nice there early in the morning. I have plot about 2/3 turned. I remeasured accurately for my fence - actually 14 by 25 feet.

April 14, 2008 11:56 AM

Anonymous Patrick said...

It's really handy to have the previous gardener around to ask questions of! It's great the soil is in good shape, and you have lots of sun.

I'm busy with planting now too!

April 14, 2008 2:09 PM

Anonymous Adam Ham said...

You plot looks very nice and the soil looks very rich. I am looking forward to seeing more pictures as the season continues. I really enjoy your flickr page!
I believe there are many benefits to raised beds. But when you have such as nice plot and such rich soil, why would you go through the trouble to build raised beds?

April 14, 2008 2:54 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Good point. Thanks. The town has made wood chips available that are nice for paths. I may raise beds just a little to keep the chips in the paths.

April 14, 2008 9:14 PM

Blogger Flax Hill Gardener said...

I'm so envious of the size of your community garden plot! They just opened community gardens on old farmlandnear my house. The plots are 4' x 12'. I'm going to have to do some creative plant spacing.

April 16, 2008 2:30 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Hi Flax Hill Gardener, I enjoyed looking at your blog. I love hearing about empty fields turned into gardens. I hope you have fun. Its nice to have a plot next to your Mom! I'm hoping my parents will come and spend some time at my new community plot soon. They are birders and will love all the birds there. I think you're right - creative spacing is good in a small space.

April 16, 2008 9:34 PM


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