Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Getting Growing

Posted by Dawn

It's been a busy month in the garden, Northern New England has warmed up nicely, it's not too muddy not too wet.
I...am enjoying my new camera! Obviously.
Anyway, last I posted we were breaking new ground in the veggie bed, that being done it is time for the fencing. My garden is surrounded on 3 sides by dense forest and I'm taking no chances with the critters, nothing any more disparaging than finding all your hard work destroyed in one night by a hungry animal.
We did have a lot to debate though, my local farm/tractor supply shop sold three kinds of fencing, rabbit proof with a pricey cost, four foot high fence with 3 inch squares or a combo of both, the rabbit proof (1 1/2 squares) at the bottom of the 3 incher on top. Problem, the combo is only 3 feet in height, essentially not deer proof. So with the help of a few thinned out maple trees, some snow fencing and roof shingles, we went to work creating a barrier while providing a heavy wall that small critters would have to spend a great deal of time digging under. I love the look of it.
After the installing of the raised bed over the large rock,
and a rustic "it's not very pretty" cucumber trellis,
we made some tee-pees for the vining veggies, we used the tops of the maple trees and birch that were bent over from this winter storms. They wouldn't recover or survive.

The tomatoes are in the background, happy to have those planted, although I had to cover them once to protect from the frost.
Here is my daughter putting down newspaper between the bean rows, I'm a big believer of newspaper and use it whenever I can. I'm not a good one for weeding all summer. See the tires behind her? Those are for potato plantings, we have never done this kind of growing. Research tells me you can get 60lbs of potatoes per tire. Has anyone done this?

Less explaining daughter dear, and more action!
And here she is again wetting everything down this weekend, I'm so glad she enjoys gardening.Last Friday rolled in the last of the plantings for a northern veggie bed, some things can be staggered though, we are planting beans every two weeks. That sounds better to me in the long run, picking them at once is a lot of bean eating!

My husband constructed this cute little gate, I teased him about not having the skill to age it for me! Too funny! Anyhow we saw Lola's pot plantings with rebar and decided to see if we could do it with some of the buckets. It turned out pretty good, we had a few 6 foot fence posts and used them instead of the rebar. These buckets have herbs planted within them, catnip being on top. Ha!
Another long shot.
Time for the potatoes to be planted, I read NOT to use soil with manure in it as it causes scabbing on the potatoes. Well, that did away with any garden soil we have available....we could buy it at a huge price, (tire planting takes a lot of dirt!) or we could make it.

We made it, we shredded piles of composted leaves. We opted to do this because the piles had many roots growing within it. That was fun, peat moss flying everywhere.
We screened it....it really went quickly.
My daughter could not keep her hands out of it. It felt like water. I never thought I'd be making 'dirt', it worked well though, "I want more!"On with planting of the onions,
But wait, what's that....peas getting growing! Here,And there,it was a good feeling after 2 months of constant planning and work. Basket of Gold, or Mountain Alyssum.

In The Garden....


  1. That is some kind of big garden!! My word! Looks wonderful.

  2. Good morning everyone,
    Thanks Janet, we had another frost warning last night and I scrambled to cover eveything, seem ok though, nicer today.

  3. Dawn...What a fantastic garden and it's huge. I am going to have to quit complaining about squirrels, they are small problems compared to the big mammals that visit your garden! gail

  4. Looks good Dawn! You have a great start. You could use straw for the potatoes and just add a little more as the green growth gets higher. The gate looks good! Deer can jump pretty high but my 3 ft. fence has deterred them. So far at least! The rabbits stay out of my 3 inch wire fence too, except for the little ones but we have neighborhood cats on patrol.

  5. You really took on a big job to accomplish all in one year. You guys have done a great job, your new garden looks perfect.

  6. What a huge, nice-looking garden! It's great that your daughter enjoys gardening. I think the gate is cute. And so are the tipsy buckets...I've never seen buckets being used this way. Would be good as a space-saver too---in a small plot, I mean.

  7. What a lot of work! It looks really nice and I bet your plants will love growing in there! Your gate with the bucket planters is really cute. It's nice to have kids in there helping isn't it?

  8. Hi Dawn, that is a lot of work. It looks gorgeous. Love the gate & bucket idea. I never thought of using buckets. Don't know how to use tires for potatoes. You sure are going to have an abundance of produce. Sure glad the family likes to help.
    I sure like that mtn. alyssum. Will have to see if I can find some here.

  9. Hi guys,
    Gail, Skunks, raccoons and rabbits I can try to keep out. Pesky squirrels I can not! I have 200 ft of corn and I'm hoping they will not destroy as that's the usual for me.
    Dave, Thanks for the hint on the straw, we saw everything but that on utube, I may use it as we go along. I think our deer maybe alittle bigger than the ones down south, not sure about Tenn though. I sure do like to looks of the combo fence.
    Thanks, Marnie!
    Kanak, I'd never seen this used with buckets either, in fact I'd never seen it until Lola posted with the clay pots. Seems like they are doing ok though, I hope things grow well in them.
    Catherine, Yes! It's wonderful to have a helper, especialy to see her awe when she has something growing, I put her in charge of all the corn this year, how many times she asks me how to shuck? She already knows, just checking.
    Lola, I'm not sure about the mtn alysumm down in Florida, tine would know. I sent her a pic last year when she did a post on chartruese (sp), I think she said she couldn't get it. Pretty though, it has fuzzy foilage that stays all season.

  10. My word that's a garden there. The cucumber trellis is perfect. The potatoes in the tires, my friend did two and has been digging potatoes for a month now. Good luck with that. Your daughter is a cutie!!

  11. Morning all! I have to echo everyone else on how big your garden is Dawn. Wowser! Very big! I had no idea it was going to be so big. I simply love the teepees! Where do you all find the time?? Holy smokes! Come on down here so I can put you to work in my little garden:) It looks awesome and I am looking forward to seeing the garden grow and you to get lots of crops from it! You should join in on Veggie Garden Day on the 20th? Or on here if you like. Either way is fine with me.

    Everyone have a great day! I am working...now up to two clients so I've got to go!

  12. Hi Dawn, I think your rustic trellis and teepees are the best! Just like Prince Charles in England uses for his large gardens, then composts them at the end of the season. I like the way you are protecting the crops too, keep those critters away! The soil looks perfect, but I am alarmed about no manure for potatoes. Too late for mine I guess. We'll see how they turn out. Hooray for your peas too. It will all be grand.

  13. Your veggie garden is huge Dawn! I love the rustic teepees & cucumber trellis too. :) Can't wait to see all the yummy produce you harvest from it this season. The potatoes in the tires sound interesting too, I'll be staying tuned to see the progress

  14. What an amazing amount of work you have put into the garden. It looks very well protected and highly organized. I'm looking forward to the crop pictures when it is all full of greenery!

  15. What an awesome garden! I love all of your clever ways to create interest while being so practical. it sounds/looks like a great family project, too.


  16. You folks have really been working! Now lets hope you get good eating from all that!

  17. Hi guys,
    Congrats on your second client Tina! Moving right along now. Have fun with it.
    Frances, yes, I read about the scabbing everywhere I went. Some had disapointing results with this kind of growing, I can't wait to see how they do.
    perennial gardener, I like the rustic of the supports too, I didn't think I would but it looks natural.
    Easy gardener, I keep saying that to my husband, "imagine rows of green beans, piles of squash....
    Cameron, I like to re-use what I have on hand (guess it's called upcycle, now) I was fun to do together.
    Brenda, one can only hope, fresh veggies are the best!

  18. Congrats from me too Tina on your 2nd client. That is great. I'm very happy for you.
    Dawn, how do you do the potatoes in the tires? I really like your rustic supports.

  19. I forgot Dawn. The mtn Alyssum can be had in this zone but don't know where to purchase it. I think it has to be ordered.

  20. Lola, You start with one tire and the eyes of your potatoes planted in it and when the foliage gets to be a bout 5 inches tall, you add another tire on top, more soil, and so on, so forth until about 4 or 5 tires high. Then you wait for the foliage to die down. The harvest is all up and down the tires. It's a space saver and since potatoes like it warmer, the tires act as a heater for them.

  21. Congrats Tina. Second one is great. Won't be long and word of mouth will be all you need to stay busy.

  22. Thanks Dawn, now to find some old tires. That shouldn't be too hard to do.

  23. Wow, Dawn, I'm tired just thinking of all the work you put in! But it's going to be so worth it when all those veggies begin to grow and ripen. And the great thing is this is a one-time project; next year will be a cinch! This is the first year I've put newspapers down between the rows--I don't know why I never thought of that before. Usually by July, I'm so sick of weeding that the garden gets out of hand. I'm hoping that won't be the case this year. Looking forward to seeing the "fruits" of all your hard work.

  24. Hi guys, Rose, another reason I like the newspaper is all the ground veggies have a fairly clean spot to sit on, I'm mostly thinking of my pumpkin.

  25. it is all looking wonderful...will be glad to see your progress as things start to grow...we enlarged all of our beds this year so we have a lot more going on in the veggie garden. it is very rewarding but lots of hard work.

  26. Dawn, I am impressed by your neat and such large garden! You really put some thought into each little project you made for the garden. From the trellis, tipsy buckets to the tee-pees not to mention the time and effort put towards the fencing! Those critters do keep ups on our toes dont they? I cannot wait to see how the potatoes work in the tires. Sounds interesting when describing to Lola. I have a volunteer potato plant coming up in my compost bin and it was full of horse poo at one time. Since I have never grown Potatoes before, it will be disappointing to loose this one to the scabbng if that happens. But again, I did not plan to have potatoes so a bonus if we do harvest some! Cant wait to see the progress of your garden in the days to come! Madame is having fun while learning and that is great to see a young gardener in action...

  27. Dawn, I meant to ask, did you paint your buckets? I know sometimes you can get colored ones depending on what came in them.

  28. That white lilac is gorgeous! It looks like you entire family has done a ton of work. Isn't it wonderful when it starting paying off. I love the rustic trellises!

  29. Lola, we painted the buckets. We have alot of them from the heating business (anti-freezing systems).
    Thank-you wormandflowers. The lilacs can be scented from anywhere in the yard especially when it rains.

  30. I love all of your creativity there, from making soil, to planting in buckets, and making your teepees and such. I want to see how it looks in a few weeks!

  31. Hi Sue, Just popping in to let you know my veggie garden updates can be found on the link in the upper sidebar. My sister, and main author of this blog, post a veggie garden update each 20th of the month. Instead of using my post (last tues of the month) I decided to join the bandwagon and do it once a month also. It's at my blog also found on the sidebar under family blog(s). Thanks!