Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Turning Woodland into a Garden

 This past week we got started really working on turning land into a garden. Last year we had managed to get it mostly fenced in and then we nearly finished up this spring all except a double gate that is temporarily blocked off with a big, heavy pallet. Last year we also cut down trees and brush that were in the garden spot and I did try planting something. The plants were doing okay until the deer mowed nearly everything down as our fence wasn't done. This year we hope for better results than that!

 A week ago on Tuesday evening Ken got out the tiller and went to work.
 It was a big job! Trees roots and then some spots of sod are not easy to go through. He worked at it until dark. It isn't perfect yet but we are making it work.
Aaron's dream is to have watermelon - He loves them! It is a questionable thing if we can manage to get even the small hardy watermelons up here (someday I hope to have a high tunnel greenhouse and then I think we will manage to grow them better) but he was completely willing to give it a try. He also planted Morning Glories near by as Mara read they are a good companion plant. He put watering and weeding the watermelon on his chore chart so he will be careful to care for them.

 Megan had fun working in her own little section of the garden.

 Mara is my right-hand woman when it comes to gardening. She does research for me and helps a ton. She was helping to plant asparagus that she had started from seed.
  Jonathan hauled a bunch of pallets to the garden for me but gardening is really not his thing so after that he cooked us supper. The pallets we are using for climbing beans and peas to go on. We also have one set up for cucumbers too.

  We have been gradually getting more planting done as the week goes on. The black plastic (old tarps that we got free from the lumberyard) areas are for tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage and other odds and ends of things. It helps to warm the soil, keep weeds down and keep moisture in.
Last night Aaron and I got the sweet corn planted. We planted four different types and one is a multi-colored sweet corn. I am excited about trying that one. We also companion planted watermelons, muskmelons and cucumbers with the corn. We may also go back later and add climbing beans. They are all supposed to work well together.

 The bees are in the corner of the garden and seem to be pretty busy. I need to check them soon and see if they need another super put on. I figured it would work out fine to have the bees in the garden but then our first couple of times of working out there they kept buzzing our heads (nobody got stung thankfully) and I started to regret my decision. Now though they don't seem to really notice us anymore. When Ken tilled he went right up in front of them (I thought he would stay farther away but I guess he momentarily forgot what was in those boxes!) and they didn't do a thing - I think it helped that it was late evening. Mara and I planted right in front of them too (flowers and herbs) and they didn't bother us. So I think it is going to work fine.
 The picture above is from yesterday too. We have stuff coming up!! This time of year is always so exciting. I believe this was Chinese Cabbage.

 My friend Denise offered to let me thin out her Lilies of the Valley (I guess I had given her starts years ago - I had forgotten), chives, rhubarb, horseradish and a yellow lady slipper. I am very excited to have those perennials started in my garden!

 The other day we were over at my parents and Dad gave me some tomato plants that he had grown in his greenhouse that he built last year (unless it was the year before?). Anyway - his greenhouse is working well and I thought it would be fun to share some pictures of it:

 He has it attached to one side of his workshop/garage. He keeps his shop heated with a wood stove in the winter as he runs his saw sharpening business there. There is a window that goes from the shop into the greenhouse. The greenhouse has a wood frame and then is covered with plastic and he also used some old political signs in some areas.
 This is the view inside. He has the greenhouse sunk down into the ground.
The tomato plants are looking lovely!

 We dream of having a greenhouse attached to our house (we built with that plan in mind) and I would also love to put up a high tunnel in our garden area. It is fun to look at other greenhouses and drool over them a little. In our northern area greenhouse can be great for extending the season or even just to make a hotter environment for things like peppers and watermelons that can struggle here.

  Are you gardening this year? When did you plant in your area?


Jennifer said...

How exciting! It looks great. Our bee hives are near our garden. The bees helped us out so much last year. I can't wait for the warm weather to get here and for the veggies to grow! I love your little green house. We are considering putting up a hoop house or small green house this fall. Happy gardening!

Nola said...

Wow, that's amazing. I miss gardening a lot, having had to move from a place with a large yard to no yard for the last few years. We are hoping to move but its not very affordable where we now live. This year I decided I should plant some pots up on my deck. They are just starting to have some shoots come up. I planted things that will hopefully do okay with less light as they only get some morning and late afternoon/evening light. I planted mainly greens. I'll see what happens. Its not much but its exciting and I used old seed so I didn't spend anything other than dirt (I used containers I already had). So I can't really loose. The kids are excited as they have missed gardening a lot since we had to move. I can also take this with me when I hopefully move!

Abbi said...

So fun to hear about your "gardens" too! Best wishes for a good year of growing. We are loving watching the growth in our garden.


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