Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gardening 2012 Edition

New location for raised beds

When I moved from Questa to Black Lake I abandoned the large garden plot and three great 4 x 8 foot raised beds. I did not miss the garden plot but the first spring I erected two 8 x 4 raised beds. And quickly found that I could grow more than I could eat in them. Number one I could grow fewer things at the higher altitude and shorter growing season. Lettuce, spinach, kale and mustard greens thrived. Squash was very risky.

So when I had to move the old beds for the studio addition and found them rotted out after eight years I decided on 4 x 4 foot raised beds. But I had one summer of container gardening in the back yard in between. When the construction crew was gone I built the new smaller beds and located them in a scattered pattern toward the front of the studio. Mistake. They were not as protected as I thought they would be and didn't get enough sun.

Last summer I toyed with beds at the base of the studio window for squash. I covered them with plastic on chilly nights and kept them from freezing but they didn't get enough sun.

Onion and garlic beds

Yesterday I planted the studio wall beds with early salad bowl lettuce, onions and garlic from the beds I moved. A couple weeks early but the black water jugs which absorb the heat of the sun keep the soil very warm even this early in April.

Since the plastic seemed to work on keeping the squash plants from freezing I figured I would put a low tunnel green house over the now aligned raised beds. I have been toying with with a grand walk in one but know that gardening is iffy at best in my rarefied air so am contenting myself with starting small. If I get good results I can use the smaller design as an under bubble and build a larger tunnel over the top.

This will be the first summer I will have no art fairs and so one problem with gardening will be solved - time. I will be captive in my studio during posted studio hours and I can always work the gardens outside. Hopefully I can rescue the herb/flower garden which I lost total control of last summer while I worked to prepare for fairs. And do a decent job with the new raised beds. Dole having to recall bagged lettuce makes the lettuce I can grow all season long that much more desirable.

Raised beds get planted the 1st of May and the low tunnel installed then by the 1st of June my first experiment with squash and pepper plants.

1 comment:

  1. Your beds look great! There is something to be said for well-done small gardens. Ha. look who's talking.

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