Our weather this spring has alternated between pouring rain and scorching sun. It might not have been the best year to decide to expand my garden.
Even though I was able to get the grass cleared away for me (we were having backyard work done) it has been a tough project. We live in an area with too many deer and need a good fence. The fence alone took me 10-12 hours over 4 days. Now, I’m working on prepping the rock-hard soil and planting. It is eating up a lot of free time I don’t really have.
The half on the right is the old part of the garden. The is fully shaded by late afternoon, as shown here. I really only get 6 hours of sun, at best, but it works.
My strawberries are along the wall in the back. I forgot to mulch them last fall and lost quite a few of them. I moved the plants which were left and will let them cover the 4 feet of garden along the wall (29 feet wide at the back.)
The total above ground height of the fence is approximately 8 feet. I used
- 6-foot-tall U-posts
- 4 foot wooden extenders (I used wooden deck balusters)
- 4-foot-tall welded hog wire
- landscape staples
- 2-foot-tall chicken wire
- lots and lots of wire (16 gauge? Not electrified. Just wire.)
- assorted tools, spray paint, screws, fence zip ties, and band-aids
The best part of putting up the fence was knowing that I shouldn’t have to do it again for a very, very long time (although I will run one more wire at the top. I ran out of wire.) I guess the extra garden space is nice, too.
I now have room for 20 tomatoes, 20 peppers, 6 eggplants, 4 Brussels sprouts, about 12 ft of cucumbers and 8 ft of beans, 5 zucchini/summer squash, a bunch of basil, and some parsley. And two annual artichokes (an experiment!) I might try to squeeze in some broccoli.
And, that’s all in addition to my asparagus bed which failed to grow asparagus and which I have re-purposed as a lettuce bed. Both of the long sides of fencing fully open. They are chicken wire and I attached it so it naturally rolls up when opened. I planted lettuce, sugar snap peas, baby greens, radishes, and (hopefully) carrots. My dad made the birdhouse in the background.
We also have a few potted plants on the deck: two hot peppers, two currant tomatoes, two of the artichokes, and some flowers. I do grow flowers sometimes, too.
My seedlings were ready to be planted several weeks ago. I finally took my father-in-law’s advice and set up a grow light system this year. I started the seeds 2-3 weeks later, and they were still ready too early. I started all my tomatoes, a bunch of tomatoes, and a few eggplant. I bought a couple eggplant and might buy some more peppers.
I managed to not sunburn my plants this year, but we did have aphids appear from nowhere a few weeks ago. I have been controlling them with soapy water, but hopefully some aphid predators will find my garden soon.
I am thrilled to probably have a home for all of my extra plants this year. I can never bring myself to just dispose of them. This year we won’t have a jungle of potted tomatoes on our deck!
We’re having the house painted in a couple weeks. I couldn’t wait and plant afterwards, the plants need to get in the ground. Hopefully the painters won’t destroy my garden.