Saturday, April 18, 2020

April 2020 Garden Update

I just love this time of year when everything is starting all over.  The perennials are sprouting everywhere and things are green again.  My rhubarb and apple mint are going crazy.  So is the peppermint, citrus mint, and chocolate mint plants.  The strawberries are blooming, the asparagus is coming up (we've already harvested about 10 spears or so over the past week), and the hostas are coming right along.

Asparagus with strawberries


Blooming strawberries

Each year seems to get a little better in our garden plot.  The area is approximately 30 feet by 50 feet.  It has gone through a LOT of changes over the years.  First, we tilled and direct sowed, then we dug trenches and created 30 inch wide raised bed areas (that was very successful).  The problem was always the horrible weeds that kept taking everything over no matter what we did or how much we mulched.  We finally decided to try square foot gardening in raised beds and that has been a pretty successful work in progress.  We started with wooden 4 foot by 4 foot beds that eventually rotted out so we started replacing them with composite board kits specially made for square foot gardening. I kept finding them on sale for dirt cheap and as we did this we extended most of the beds to eliminate as many aisles as possible (more planting area, less weed space).

Apple mint and asparagus beds with cinder blocks

Our 4 x 4 raised beds turned into 4 x 12 beds and even one 4 x 20 foot bed!  We connected the strawberry beds together to form two 4 x 12 areas. One area houses all strawberries and the other has strawberries and rhubarb plants.  I am working on getting strawberries established in the asparagus bed to help suppress the weeds that always grow and to of course gain more strawberries!  We diminished our aisle space tremendously and kept up with the weeds pretty well last year.  The beds have very few weeds throughout the growing season due to the mulch layer (LOTS of chicken compost and wood shavings!).  What grows up over the winter and into early spring is easily eradicated as you can see from the work in progress pictures.

Heavy grass growth in the aisles from year to year and over winter.

Prior to weeding bed

After weeding, putting down more mulch, and beginning
to lay landscape fabric into the aisles

The apple mint and asparagus beds that have been connected have always been an eyesore and never well maintained.  I had seen where one raised bed option was to use cinder blocks.  It got me thinking.  Could we use that in this area?  We decided to try it this year and I think we are REALLY going to like this!  I am excited to see how it will fare over the summer.  If we can conquer this area in the weed department we will have accomplished something we have not been able to do for years.  I also saw where one of the homesteaders that I watch on YouTube uses commercial landscape fabric for their entire garden with no mulch or other cover at all.  We are trying that this year too and I like it!

I like the clean look of the fabric.  We are still working on it.

I am chomping at the bit and cannot wait to get the planting going.  We have broccoli and cauliflower in a bed already, but so much more needs to be planted.  Our last frost date is supposed to be after May 1-10.  I need to be patient!  I am really looking forward to the harvest this year.  Each year the structure gets better with the improvements we are working on.  This year might prove to be successful in the weed suppression department, I sure hope so anyway!  How does your garden grow?  Is it planting season yet where you are?  Hoping we all have a successful growing season.  Many blessings to you and yours.

I can't wait to get these in the ground!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to reading what you have to share. May your day be richly blessed!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...