Gardening

Summer Garden 2012

May 29, 2012
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I seriously debated whether or not I wanted to spend the time, effort and money to do a garden this year. In the past we’ve built raised beds, I tracked every expense to see if it’s worth it, and last year only planted half a garden. This year, even though I was a bit late in getting started, I decided to jump in all the way and plant every bit of space in our raised beds. With a little help from family and friends we got the beds ready in a weekend.

We went with a modified version of the no-dig method this year. Instead of hay, alfalfa, compost and fertilizer, I substituted organic garden soil for the compost and fertilizer. Last year we lost a lot of soil in the boxes to various digging creatures and general decomposition. The hay and alfalfa break down every year so …

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Final Update for Summer Garden 2010 & Giveaway Winner

November 6, 2010
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In Southern California our gardening season begins early and contrary to popular thought, ends early too, or at least it did for me. Despite my best efforts at staggering the planting, most of my garden was finished by early September when others were in the full flush of their tomato days.

Many of you have been following along with the saga of my garden this past summer be it the battle with my digging monsters or the desire to answer the question of  “what price gardening?” Below are photos of the devastation I found when I came home from 2 weeks in Cambodia. Even though there was nothing growing in the beds, and nothing covering them or preventing the animals from climbing inside to dig to their little heart’s content, they persisted in digging under and ruining my nice pathways. All those boards and bricks were tossed asunder …

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Garden Update; Checking the Yields

August 16, 2010
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It’s nearing the end of the summer and I’m wondering just how much has my garden produced after all the blood, sweat & tears (and water and money) I’ve poured into it. So far, the results have been pretty good (see below). It’s not done producing yet, though it does appear that some of the plants are nearing their end already.

 Below are my harvest totals as of 8/15/2010. I tried my best to keep track (even made a spreadsheet) but I’m sure I missed some of the pickings so it’s safe to assume the actual harvest is slightly larger.

I’m going to do some research as to actual cost of these items if I were to buy them in a store or at the farmer’s market and in a future post will total and compare with what we spent on building and planting the garden with the yields and …

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Garden Update; Preserving the Harvest

June 24, 2010
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In a perfect would garden harvest would come in easy amounts, just as you would buy the same food at the grocery store; a few tomatoes every couple of days, one zucchini a week, one eggplant, etc. Real life is not so simple and gardens are not so easy. Instead, I’ve had a surplus of zucchini and yellow squash and little else. In a couple of weeks, my tomatoes should come in and given that I have six eggplants, I’m expecting quite a few from there all at once too. I tried to stagger my planting, but I’m not sure how successful that will be.

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Garden Update-Have I Won the Battle?

June 4, 2010
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I may not have won the war, but I may have won the battle, at least for now. It seems like my monsters have found other places to dig besides in and around my garden beds. I like to imagine them frustrated; “What are these boards and bricks and rocks doing in my buffet? Let’s go somewhere else...”

As for my plants, they seem to be doing well. I’ve been able to remove the caging off the eggplants and squash and the effect was amazing. The zucchini doubled in size overnight. I am not exaggerating. It doubled. It was almost as if it was singing, “Born free....” and stretching it’s arms toward the sky.
Yes, both the animals and plants talk in my garden.
The tomatoes seem to be happy and two of the plants have quite a few green tomatoes on them. I harvested my …

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Garden Update; Breaking Even with the Monsters

April 24, 2010
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In my previous post about the expense of gardening I know I said I hoped not to have too much more non-plant related expense, but alas, I spoke too soon. 

The digging of the raccoons got to be detrimental to the garden. They were taking out so much soil from the bottom, the beds were sinking! Something had to be done. In the end we decided to add another layer of protection to the base of the beds which also acts as a support since the ground is not exactly level. 

The new wood seemed to stop the digging for a while, but after a little rain, the ground is softer so they are still digging, though not able to actually get into the beds. Score one for us.  Since they could no longer get in from below, they crawled up inside, to the one area I left unprotected and …

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