weekend gardening plans
Our plan for the weekend is to get a fence up around my new garden. (Hopefully we can do this in between the rain drops!) For now, we'll put a simple metal fence around half of the beds. I think we'll go with a 5 or 6 ft fence. We have lots of deer, so the main purpose of the fence is to keep them out. We also have raccoons and rabbits that I'd rather not share my vegetables with.
At the community garden I manage, we talk a lot about fencing. Our recommendation there is 4 or 5 foot metal fencing, with wood or metal posts. We like the 1 inch grid, stainless fence with a 12 inch layer of chicken wire or poultry cloth at the bottom, 6 inches dug in and 6 inches above ground. The tall fence protects against human theft, the dug in wire protects against woodchucks and rabbits. We dislike any type of plastic fencing as its not a sustainable option. Plastic is damaged by mowers and gets scattered in the local environment. While a little bit here and there seems innocuous now, plastic is forever. If we let it accumulate, it won't be pretty later. Our main criterion for fencing recommendation is that they are safe for gardeners using the paths. Secondary concerns are esthetic and environmental issues.
With my new home fence, I'll avoid plastic. Metal is more functional and long lasting. Over the long term, it degrades into an innocuous form and is a more sustainable choice.
We have a fantastic community farm near us and I've discovered they are a source for not only CSA meats, eggs and vegetables, but also for organic aged manure compost. Our plan to fill the new raised beds is to bring in local loam to fill beds within a couple inches of the top, then top off with local compost. I'll vary the amount of compost according to what I plan to plant: 1 inch of compost for root beds, 2 inches in beds for greens, at least 3-4 inches in beds for tomatoes, peppers, squashes, cucumbers and corn. I ordered a loam delivery for midweek, but we'll start bringing in compost this weekend.
I have specific varieties of fruit trees I'd like to grow: Honey Crisp and Golden Grimes apples, Contender peach and a pie cherry. It will be fun to see what we can find in local nurseries this weekend.
I have seed potatoes to go in this weekend. Yukon Gold, Kennebec Red, Burbank Russet, and Adironac Blues. Also, I'd like to transplant seedlings of lettuce and other greens. Its time to start seeds indoors for pumpkins and winter squashes.