“Nature is my medicine.”
We are making progress towards a sustainable vegetable garden. The plans are drawn up to revamp the garden into permanent raised beds. My husband is a whiz at the building aspect so all of this will be our own labor. I have a rough open compost pile from previous years that we will enclose and get serious about turning to create good compost to add to the raised bed next year. This year we will rely on bags of mushroom manure to enrich the soil in the beds. Mushroom manure is a non-chemical, naturally aged way of improving soil. It is not what some would call “complete” but I am reluctant to have any thing at all to do with chemical fertilizers. There is too much of that messing with the environment already. There is a cattle farmer down the road that has aged manure piles that will be good for the fall. There will be two 3ft x 10ft beds and two 3ft by 20ft beds with the existing strawberry pyramid, 2 gooseberry bushes and row of raspberries. This is a diagram of the layout we have in mind:
The garden as pictured here is still under a bit of snow and the earth is frozen about 3 inches below the surface as yet.Once thawed and workable we plan on leveling the entire area, except for the strawberry pyramid, prior to placing the framework for the raised beds. Mikey offered to dig out the tougher part that I could not manage to make it properly rectangular as well. It will end up being a proper 16′ by 20′ . The beds will be 2 feet in depth and will sit atop the existing soil. We have gotten in contact with a supplier that has excellent quality topsoil that we will pick up to fill the beds. Also going into these beds will be a growing medium that we already have on hand; it contains lots of peat moss which will help with moisture retention. This year we plan on growing carrots, beets, peas, beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and lettuce. We already have raspberry plants growing which we will transplant to fit in the space. The planting will be based on hexagonal spacing rather than rows to increase yield. I can hardly wait to get my hands dirty!
So far we have the greenhouse revamped too.We raised the height of the greenhouse beds to about 3 feet and filled it with a combination peat mossy growing medium, mushroom manure, and topsoil. The poopy soil from my worm farm will also find its way there to enrich the soil and being laden with worm eggs to generate earthworms in the soil too. I have a lovely assortment of plants growing in little peat moss pots to transplant when they are ready.This year we will only plant tomatoes and herbs in the greenhouse. There is already garlic growing in there and chives too. In the past couple of years we found that the only plants that grew well in our greenhouse were tomatoes, chamomile, chives and pansies. I am looking forward to working with the beds raised so high…so much easier on the back.
Today’s “stone” is Day 97 green thumb, green plants, green garden, green is beautiful