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New house, new garden

posted on March 28, 2011 at 9:31 am

Although I had great success with my Earthbox Castleberry rooftop garden last year, I decided to go in a different direction when we moved into our new house. I wanted to create a space that would blend more with the landscaping and also move towards using wood instead of plastic containers. My existing earth here in the new house is mostly Georgia red clay, so I needed to bring in my own soil. I knew to look no further than Farmer D Organics. The guys from Farmer D came out and helped me chart a plan for an edible backyard and also delivered the containers and their amazing compost. Seriously, it’s like crack for plants. The first part of the plan was to put in 5 4×4 containers for my vegetables, which we lined up on the back fence so I can use the support as a trellis in the summer.
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Since I am still a novice gardener, I went the seedling route with the exception of this container that has a mix of radishes and carrots. This photo was taken last week. The radishes are already sprouting.
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I, of course, planted stuff we like to eat. Sadly, I missed the early spring planting so no English peas for us. I hope to find some at one of the Farmers’ markets before they are scooped up by all the local chefs. Since some of this stuff is going to edge into my summer planting, I will probably pull whatever doesn’t do well to make room for tomatoes, etc. The radishes and lettuce will definitely be done by the time my tomatoes should go in. Here’s what we planted in the other containers:

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A few types of kale, collards, swiss chard and cabbage.

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Lettuces

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Cauliflower, broccoli, and beets.

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Herbage.

The next stage of this plan is fruit! A few apple and pear trees are going in over here:
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And we’ll be getting rid of this large bush thing to plant a mess of berry bushes to the left and a fig tree. We may add some compost to that tiny hill to the left of the last container for some watermelons.
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I can already see my biggest challenge is going to be all the damn squirrels that call my backyard home. I haven’t decided on how to deter them yet, but I am sure they’ll need to be contended with sooner rather than later. Stay tuned for updates on my successes, failures, and learnings.

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5 comments

  • Re: New house, new garden
    posted by: ms · March 28, 2011  10:43 AM

    Nice job.

    Oh, and we just got a dog and suddenly the squirrels have moved on to someone else’s yard. But of course you have to find a way to keep the dog from digging up your garden too.

  • Re: New house, new garden
    posted by: Nathan · March 28, 2011  11:27 PM

    Try explosive acorns.

  • Re: New house, new garden
    posted by: AJK · March 30, 2011  4:27 PM

    Looks great! I’m a little behind this season but my tomatoes are percolating in the Aerogarden and should be ready to plant as soon as I get home from vacation. Got radishes going, at least; no lettuce – they just get fried up on the roof.

    Is your yard completely fenced in? Your cat would be a good squirrel-deterrent. Either that or hire a neighborhood kid with a BB gun…

  • Re: New house, new garden
    posted by: Gloria ONeal · March 31, 2011  8:11 AM

    Way to go! Jay sent me your link. If you are looking at getting into fruit, I suggest blueberries. The bushes are nice, great fall color and blueberries are so good for you. My husband and I have about thirty bushes. I would love to share a great recipe for a blueberry pound cake or coffee cake.

  • Re: New house, new garden
    posted by: Meghan · April 6, 2011  3:12 PM

    We have quite a few squirrels in our neighborhood too! We had to fight them for figs from our tree last year. We haven’t done anything to protect our beds yet, though we have a dog who patrols! A friend said her father used to hang a few aluminum pie pans around their boxes and it kept both squirrels and birds out.

    Best of luck!

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