Thursday, 14 February 2013

Before and After: The Garden

It's February and if I can't be in the garden, I find myself thinking about the garden! We will be leaving this one before planting time this year, and will have to break new ground for a garden at our acreage. As a sort of send off to this yard and house, I'm going to do a small series of before and afters to show off some of the work we did in our four years here.

This was taken the day we made an offer on the property, 2009
While going through pictures I came across one of our first garden. I was pregnant with baby number one and didn't end up working in it as much as I wanted. I was also working shiftwork and the overnights were very hard. But I do remember eating beets almost everyday, and green beans by the pail, so the garden was a success and I have a healthy little boy to prove it.

The first thing we did was build a compost bin (you can glimpse the blue tarp to the right rear of the garden). When we had a little extra money we made the garden just a bit bigger and edged it. That sure helped to keep the grass from invading, but we do still dig out a bit of encroaching lawn every year.

Two years ago we added a second compost bin
As far as yield goes, I would end up with enough potatoes for a couple months when it was just the two of us. I would blanch and freeze beans, make a couple batches of pickles, and we would eat onions and beets to our heart's content. The potatoes and onions were small and the carrots especially started out a failure. After adding compost each year I noticed a great improvement in the carrots and onions this past year. The garden is partially shaded most of the day and the spruce trees steal moisture and shed needles and cones everywhere. Attempting to make more room for vegetables at the "good" end, we cut the raspberry bush back to the point that we didn't get any fruit from it last year. From this little garden I have learned that placement is everything. In the new yard I won't put raspberries or spruce trees so close that they compete for moisture and nutrients. 

Do you have competing interests in your garden and, if so, how have you managed?  

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