Sunday, February 17, 2013

Planting strawberries

To finish the strawberry bed project detailed in the previous posting, I planted strawberry plants in the new raised bed today.  We used a variety of strawberry named "Albion" which is an everbearing strawberry with disease resistance to verticillium wilt, phytophtora crown rot, and resistance to anthracnose crown rot.  And they taste great!
The first photo shows the planting process, and the second shows the completed planting.  I dig a hole with a trowel, put liquid fertilizer in the hole (we use Maxsea, a seaweed based fertilizer), and place the plant roots in the hole, and cover them up.  We should have edible strawberries in late May onward.  Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Building a garden bed for strawberries

     Over the last several days Illijana and I have set about to construct a dedicated strawberry bed in our garden space.  We needed a sunny spot and found one that fit near our greenhouse.  We dug up the grass at the edge of the gravel pad we had put down for the greenhouse, dug up the weed mat that underlaid the gravel, moved some of the gravel, and laid out the bed shape.
Cutting the edge
Laying out the bed shape

The next step was to construct the raised beds using recycled deck boards given to us by our neighbors.
We laid out the boards, cut them to size, and used an Illijana inspired design nailing them together.

I then used a garden fork to loosen the soil at the base of the bed (like a double dig technique).  In the background you can see some of the soil conditioners I used in the bed.

I amended the soils we gathered from around the yard with a mixture of blood meal, bonemeal, cottonseed meal, greensand, and lots of compost.  The next photo is of our compost screener (a recycled plastic bread tray) as we loaded compost from the bottom of the pile to place in the new bed.
Finally, after many loads of soil, amendments, and compost were added, the bed was done.  Here is what it looks like before the planting of the strawberry plants.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Creating edges and walls in the garden

Lately, we have been working on replacing the edging on some of our garden beds.  We have used limbs from downed trees as edging on some garden beds, but the limbs tend to decompose quickly and are a bit messy.  We decided to use recycled concrete pieces for the edging on one of our backyard beds.  Here are a couple of pics of the newly constructed concrete rubble edging.

Click pictures to enlarge them.

We also had a spot that needed a "retaining wall" in the newly created garden bed area.  We used the larger pieces of recycled concrete to create a small wall.  This is a picture of the new wall.

Flowers (while never absent from our garden) are now becoming more numerous.  Here are a few of the current flowers in bloom.
huckleberry flowers