Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Franklin Street Garden

This is the garden we have been working on for the past year. We also grow stuff on our porch and a second lot we have begun sharing with a few community members. I would love to be able to eventually grow enough vegetables and herbs for all year long and still have enough to share.

The garden lot from the street. It is a vacant lot between two occupied houses approximately 30' x 60'. We are growing towards the back of it.

The beds, before you get to the wild array of brambles, ivy and trees.

The beds, again.

Our newest and laziest bed. It is a sheet composted bed composed of layers of cardboard at the bottom and then alternating green and brown materials (weeds that I chop, composted leaves, etc). This method is written about in the book Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza. It is often recommended to build the bed all at once, alternating layers and wetting down each one with a hose. Since we don't have a reliable water source, I just wait til it rains hard and then add some more layers. I'm not sure what I will plant in it yet.

Beds with hoops for cold and insect protection. This year I ordered an Agribon-19 row cover which boasts 4 degrees of frost protection in the early spring and late fall to extend the growing time. I cover the hoops with the row cover and secure around the sides with rocks. Its warm enough to take the covers off but I replace them when I leave the garden because someone keeps nibbling in the night!

Red cabbage, butterhead lettuce and collards planted closely together. I use block planting, squeezing in more plants in less space. The plants shade the soil to conserve water and discourage weeds that would normally pop up between widely spaced rows. Here is an article in Mother Earth News about biointensive gardening, which uses little space for lots of crops.

This variety of butterhead lettuce is "Ermosa". I tried it for it's heat resistance and so far it is handling our warm spring like a champ. It is available from Johnny's Selected Seeds among other sources.

Our tiny raspberry patch courtesy of Yve and Marty last season. I have read raspberries are very prone to disease and to always buy certified disease-free stock. Well, so far so good with these non-certified guys.

The kale, freshly pillaged by some nibbler. Luckily they only hit a few plants. I put netting over it right after I took this photo.

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