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Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Compacting Garden Part I

Now that you have gone through the seed catalogs and placed your order, you should think about where and how you will be planting. Pick up an organic gardening or a companion gardening book and begin to cross reference your vegetables. A pattern will begin to emerge, and you will be able to plan out the best method to plant.

Because of the timing, our garden will only contain the basics. I don't want the garden to be neglected because of our building a house. The planning stage must be done carefully, so that I can use the full potential with minimum maintenance. This means I need to compact.

The easiest way to accomplish this is by using double rows. Instead of a single row holding only single lined up veggies, I can double my yield and do less weeding by simply creating the double row. This method also saves on mulching, makes it easier to harvest, allows for cool weather crops to grow in the heat, and improves the quality of the crop.

Once you have blueprinted you garden, you will need to transfer it to the yard. The simplest way is by using string. Mark a stake at the end of your row and the take it down the length, trying it off to another stake. Check you line to make sure it's straight, and then repeat with the second line to mark the width of your row. In this manner, the only soil work you need to do is within he row itself instead of tilling the entire garden. Just make sure that the width between rows is large enough to run your lawnmower or weeders {geese} down.

Broadcasting your seeds over a wide row, will be thicker than a single row. Anywhere from 10 inches to 3 feet. Thinning and weeding once they have began to sprout is a matter of running a rake down the length of the row. While harvesting is a matter of sitting and plucking everything that you see is ready before moving on to the next plant.

As you can see, I prefer the wide row. Of course the option is up to you, and you should always experiment with techniques to determine which way is the best for you.


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog. I read it from the beginning and it read just like a novel.
About the smaller garden, you may get some good ideas from the book Square Foot Gardening. Borrow it from the library or google it for some online info.

Unknown said...

I second the nomination for a quick read of square foot gardening. We've been using it for a few years now and it's a very compact way to maintain an abundant garden.


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Anonymous said...

We were never able to convince our geese to only eat the weeds. They made up for that weakness by being fond of dandylion leaves.

Billy said...

Wow, you had a lot of great tips. Thanks. I can't wait!

Stephanie Appleton said...

Do the geese really leave the other stuff alone? I've been thinkin of chicken tractors for the weeding. (need the chickens first LOL)

How did you train your dogs to leave the foul alone?

Phelan said...

Stephanie, out click on the link weeders, and it will show you the typ of geese that are considered that. As long as the plants have grown taller than the weeds, my geese leave them alone. I allow my chickens into the garden until my tomatoes begin to fruit. The chickens eat the bugs, not the plants, but will eat your tomato fruits.

Dogs, I put them in with a rooster while they were puppies. It didn't work on my pittbull, she doesn't get into the cage with them, she waits until they escape, then kills them. We strapped the carcass of the last one to her back, and she has left them alone ever since.

Phelan said...

Anonymous, thank you. I am glad you are enjoying the blog.

Stienman, looking it it, thank you.

alrescate, dandylion leaves, I found, keep my ducks and geese from pulling feathers out of my chickens. Hope you can get home soon.

abbagirl, I got more coming up for you.

Stephanie Appleton said...


Smart about the puppies. We are going to have some work ahead with our dog. He loves to chase and play with things.

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