Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm going to stop gardening

O.K., not really. But I've decided to stop gardening at the "big" plot. For the past few years, I've had a plot behind our church. It was 15 feet wide by 20 feet long. It was great to be able to have that much space. It gave me plenty of room to grow stuff like cucumbers or corn or other plants that are space hogs. But I decided not to - at least this year. For all of the advantages, there were disadvantages.

The first being that it isn't THAT close to my house. It is about 10 minutes by car to get there - which isn't far - but when I'm trying to do weeding in the morning before the daycare kids arrive, it makes it is 10 minutes there, and 10 minutes back, and only leaves me about 20 minutes to weed.

And speaking of daycare kids, it just wasn't working in my daily schedule to have a garden over there and have to watch small children. If I needed to go over to there to plant or weed or harvest with the daycare kids (and my own children), it was difficult to try and do that and watch children.

I also had to drive. There was no storage space for my tools and supplies, so I'd have to drive just to transport my supplies. I'm talented on a bike, but not talented enough to carry a hoe AND ride a bike. And so it costs me gas every day that I went over there. And that seemed like not quite the point of gardening.

But of course, I'm not ACTUALLY stopping gardening. I enjoy gardening. And eating fresh food. And preserving food. So what am I doing?

Square foot gardening and raised beds.

Those of you who have been to my house may wonder where I am going to put the beds. Especially since I have a large wooden playset in my backyard. Well, I have 5 feet of yard that is outside the perimeter of the backyard fence that is still part of our yard. So that is where the majority of the beds will go. I'll have two beds in the actual backyard and then 4 beds on the perimeter. I'll also be adding a couple of small dwarf fruit trees. I

n addition to changes in the backyard, I am pulling some things out of the front beds and adding medicinal herbs. I've already got a raised bed of cooking herbs in the back. Next year, I'll be adding some native plants in the front yard and another tree.

Now, if I want to get up in the morning and water or weed, it will take me about 30 seconds to get there. I can weed or plant or harvest in the afternoon when the daycare kids are napping. I can store my tools in my own garage.

It isn't perfect, of course, either. When I had the plot, I didn't have to buy the dirt. LOL I didn't have to make the beds. So there will be some work that I didn't have to do before. And more money. I'll let you know at the end of season what I thought. And if I'll be headed back to "plot gardening" sticking with "square foot gardening."


Krista said...

Just catching up with your blog. I am a big believer in "edible landscaping" and being creative with gardening. If you have a porch or patio you can also have big pots with tomatoes and I have seen hanging tomatoes too. Thank you for the sweet post of Christopher. I had 5 miscarriages and that was hard enough, my heart goes out to you!

Mary said...

I can't wait to see how everything turns out! My garden hasn't been doing that well the past couple of years so I wonder if my soil is depleted. What kind of fruit trees?