Things We Learned Last Week

My mom’s vegetable garden

Last week we were in Ohio visiting my mom. We got a chance to visit a lot of farms. As an added bonus my mom’s next door neighbors are organic vegetable farmers. While there we learned a lot about growing food even though they have a significantly different climate. We took what we learned and developed a plan for some changes around here.

  • We’ll be eliminating our raised herb beds. We’ve decided to make pallet boxes for our potatoes, which will free up quite a bit of bed space, so the herbs will be finding a permanent location to park in our vegetable beds. This will also help keep the turkeys out of the chives.
  • Speaking of raised beds, we’re going to be turning our two smaller beds into raised beds. It’s the only way we’re going to be able to beat the weeds that are in those beds. We’ll be putting weedblock fabric under them to help keep the bindweed and bermuda grass out. 
  • Douglas Fir is totally fine to build beds out of. The costs of cedar and redwood are astronomical and you don’t want to use pressure treated wood for vegetable beds. The cost of Doug Fir is just a fraction of the cost of redwood. It will last 3-5 years here. Redwood and cedar last about 20 years before replacement. By the time redwood would need to be replaced I could have used Doug Fir and actually spent less money even though I’ve replaced it multiple times. 
  • It just doesn’t get hot enough here to really get all we can from some plants, like squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers and melons. So to help that along we’re going to put down black plastic on the beds to keep the soil a lot warmer for these varieties.
  • I hate to do this, but I think we need to just suck it up and use a rototiller to break up our clay soil and to incorporated compost and manure. Our garden area is just too big and takes too much time to hand dig, especially with everything else we’ve got going on. 

I’m hoping these changes will help cut down on our gardening chores. 

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