This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

planting mom and dad's garden

mom and dads garden_1465mom and dads garden_1467 mom and dads garden_1468 I brought my parents 5 or 6 trays of seedlings I raised. We planted them in their old garden and in a newly dug up addition. In their old garden, we planted basil (Nufar), peppers (sweet, Bell, Joe Parker NuMex, Amelia Cayene and Thai hot), eggplants, tomatoes (early planted Siberian Red, Orange Blossom and Pink Beauty) and parsley. In the new addition we planted winter squashes (acorn, Waltham butternut and buttercup) and summer squashes (Yellow Crook and quik pik, and zucchini Elite and Romanescu) and cucumbers (Diva and Straight 8). We reserved a bed for a second area of tomatoes.

The new addition was lawn a few weeks ago. Last week, we bounded the edges with deer fence, and I dug three beds, each about 3x5 ft. To dig, we first laid an inch or two of compost on top of the grass and then I manually turned it all (sod and compost) under. My dad later broke up the clumps of sod a bit and topped it with landscape fabric. He said to me today, "Have you done this before?" I said, "No."

Today, I used scissors to cut holes in the landscape fabric for planting. I planted squashes and cucumbers and for each, I first dug a hole and then added a good handful or three of potting soil, then tamped in the seedling.

Actually we tried a version of this addition last year and it did not work for squashes. Don't know why, though I think partly it was because it was unfenced and the deer ate it. It's an experiment. Theoretically it should be beautiful with big plants and a rich harvest. We'll see.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh what a great idea. I'll have to try that where I plant my tomatoes.

May 16, 2014 7:54 AM

Blogger MathewG said...

I live in Denver, Colorado where the soil is not nearly as rich as what you've got in your area of the country. Last year, I moved to a new home with a terribly neglected landscape and hardpan soil, and decided to build my vegetable garden with raised beds. I wanted to turn the existing soil to a depth of about 10-12 inches before framing them in with redwood, and the first bed I dug was 2x13, for herbs. I meticulously picked out the grass and weeds to leave behind only the soil. Afterwards I said 'screw that' and the rest of the beds (3 4x9 and 1 6x14) were done in the same style as what you've described - I turned the grass and weeds under, and left them to settle the rest of the summer and over winter, knowing I wouldn't be planting until this year. In the fall I covered them with leaves and turned the soil again. I was hesitant - but much to my surprise, there is no grass or weed growth in any of the beds, and all of the green matter composted over winter.

May 16, 2014 11:01 AM

Blogger kathy said...

That's great Matthew. I just worry that we planted two weeks after turning under the grass. I've done this before with cover crops of winter rye, but never with a full turf. Nothing like an exciting experiment!

May 17, 2014 11:55 PM

Anonymous Cathy said...

Indeed. Experiment is fun and exciting. I am a first time condo dweller and have a small balcony. This year, my 8th floor balcony becomes my experimental garden. Weeks ago, I sowed some wildflowers ( for hummingbird and butterflies), peas, soy beans and some herbs. Now they're 4 inches tall. I'm eager to see how they do with the wind. Or do I get butterflies and hummingbirds and bees up here?

Your dad was funny asking if you've done this before. I wonder what he felt after hearing your firm "No". After all, we all look up to you as you are our guide.

May 18, 2014 7:42 AM


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