Beatrice Denham

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since Aug 19, 2020
Zone 5B
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Recent posts by Beatrice Denham

Our greens are growing well enough! Moles staying away. The S portion of the garden area has definitely been getting some shade . . . if it turns out to be too shady for most veggies, that’ll be about a third of our space. :( :( BUT it’s still an improvement. Here’s our growing area:
Moles!! We have moles. Solar mole repellent stakes seemed like the best solution initially so we’ll try those. Any mole-blocking advice is welcome; we could dig a perimeter trench and bury L-shaped hardware cloth if it comes to that.

Irrigation: I wanted to try the buried 20 oz or 2-liter plastic bottle drip ideas to last a couple days or even a day. Some people suggest that’s fine for ornamentals/shrubs but maybe not veggies due to chemical leaching. So hmm. Glass, we could try (carefully) drilling holes into recycled glass bottles? Sacrifice some our better/sturdier plastic bottles? Is there a consensus about which categories of plastics are safest to bury? I found one article suggesting milk jugs were OK. That’s cool except we don’t drink milk. Lately almost any info I find online can be negated within about 3-5 other articles (ARRRGH) so I try to stick to better info sources, but I still hate doing the exact wrong thing. Bottles above ground, algae can be an issue. Bottles below ground seem better.

Otherwise, I think I may take some of the underperforming container plants from my house and take them to Hawthorn Acres (or whatever I should name this little garden place . . .) to see if that helps any of them. This is yet another nice benefit!
Ah-HAH! I did not see the upload function last time (though I wasn’t logged in so maybe that’s why?)

The greens are planted in a slightly awkward location 1) to stay away from the PI and 2) it was easiest to dig up all the tree roots/weeds there. This fall I’ll get the rest of the soil ready for spring.

Thank you, everybody. I have been reading a ton but I don’t know enough to solve my own questions yet.
Now I’m getting bogged down by possibilities. Asparagus spreads . . . so should we put it outside the fence? Should garlic be in its own little bed since we’ll plant in October and harvest in July? In spring I’m going to try growing all the annual veggies I couldn’t grow at my house. I don’t have a good perennial plan yet.

Trellis in the center around/over the hawthorn stump? Or if it’s in the center will it shade the smaller plants that want sun? Not sure if I can upload photos here (in this case, a drawing of the site) or if I need to use photobucket.
Artie, any garden photos would show enthusiasm but definitely not a careful eye for harmonious attractive design — But maybe once things start growing I won’t be as embarrassed and will post a pic!

I feel very conflicted about if I should’ve solidly deer-proofed it from the start or not. We have a token shortish (5’) fence. Normally I am an extreme non-risk-taker about things but I guess I didn’t want to have the fence quality be the nicest thing about the garden, if that makes any sense.

We put down plastic, cardboard, mulch, and brush (to remind us about the plastic) on top of the poison ivy areas and I hope that does the trick.

Yes, I’m going to add asparagus and also garlic and I am super excited about both! We figured out a cheapish drip irrigation system to add (later) and shadecloth for a heat wave (a sheer curtain from Grandma’s house twenty years ago, thankyouverymuch). For now we’ll have rain for days. I really hope we will have some food in 30+ days’ time.

We got a small fence put up! (Steel posts, green snow fence.) We have approx. 17’x20’ fenced (we could probably expand it, but whatever) and I am going to plant a 5’x7’ annual veggie bed today (fast-growing). Possibly we could sculpt the stumps into toolholders, etc. Too small to carve into planters.

Unlike at my own house, it is PURE SUN, all the time, wide open space, so my brain is slightly breaking: “everything you’ve learned this past year, all the sun-loving food you ruled out since you can’t grow it at your own house, now everything is possible again.” So that is weird. Possibilities!

My other ask: is there a good resource for me to learn what projects could I do there this fall?

So far I thought: add a trellis/arch/something tall, plant garlic, plan a spring layout, analyze the soil nutrients. Fall asparagus and berry planting (IF I could find any berry plants available). Mulch the poison ivy areas. What else could I do? It’s very soothing to be there!

Thank you all for helping! I couldn’t figure out if I should try to get the stump to decay faster (then there’d be more fabulous fungi?), but seems like I should leave it alone unless there is a problem.

Another question I forgot to ask: apparently there was some poison ivy there (my friend pulled it out of the ground; I asked him to mark the areas with little stakes or something so I would remember it had been there.)

Do I need to 1) leave those small areas alone and plant somewhat around them, 2) leave the entire garden area alone for x amount of time, 3) not ever plant anything there, scream, run away?? Or a different course of action? (The clearing was a former garden — I figured since it was a booming garden in the past, if it still got enough sunlight, it could be a garden again.) I am a little embarrassed this was my afterthought question . . .

Some friends are letting me set up a garden at their house! (I have been perplexed with my own growing space and realistically don’t have enough room around my house for much food . . . Like, one 4x8 raised bed plus some full-shade flowerbeds. I’ll ask some questions about that later!)

But, so— the friends have a 20x20 cleared space with a (very recently cut) hawthorn stump in the middle. I planned on double-digging the beds (around the roots?), adding compost, and growing spinach/arugula now, since that’s what we have grow time for here, Zone 5B. Is it OK to leave the stump be and just dig out the patchy areas I can? Square foot gardening be da[r/m]ned? I am a very new gardener and hadn’t even ever seen a hawthorn tree before today. Is it smarter to only work on half the bed this fall and improve the other half for spring?