THE GARDENING BEGINS
We are getting pretty deep into winter season right now and I haven't written anything of late. I got really busy with work - Ago Studios - and getting things done on the cabin like electrical and framing inspections and a few other things until early summer. So I'm going to back track a bit and discuss the garden that we built this summer. I'm going to write a few articles on the garden and I begin here....
The garden has been formulating for a while. We always knew it would be in the Northeast corner. It will be a good and organic garden. It is nicely laid out to take advantage of the sun and shade. This will - I think - be a healing garden with good food grown in a creative space.
It was wide open when we took over stewardship of this land. The deer had free range - a problem when you want a really good garden.
Step One: A summer ago I took advantage of some nearby road construction and gleaned some very stout 8 ft high wildlife fencing that was being removed from the side of the interstate prior to roadway construction. That fencing was stockpiled for the garden perimeter
Step Two: Last fall I set the treated 4 x 4 posts for the garden fence along the East edge of the garden and at the corners and intermediate spacings along the West side. In doing this I had to make a modification to the adjacent barbed wire fence so the deer would not be able to jump the fence to get into our garden space.
I verified this was a successful strategy. Over the course of the winter there were no visible deer tracks or signs they had traveled through and my string sensor stretched between the fences stayed in place the entire winter. My deer behavior modification worked...and continues to work.
Step Three: This spring we installed the wildlife fence on the East side. Later in the summer we installed the fence material on the West side and began to take control of the area. Taking control of the space is an important concept because there are large 4 legged animals that roam this area. We don't want them in the garden...and I do have a story about the fence and it's ability to contain an animal.
We came up with a very cost-effective construction technique for raised beds using treated 2 x 10's, pond liner fabric and treated 4 x 4's. The bed construction began with the setting of the 4 x 4's.
An important reminder to all you who enjoy the value of building for yourself - LOCATE YOUR UTILITIES.
In my particular case I needed to locate two 2-1/2" electrical service conduits we installed last fall to make sure I knew what needed to be done if we set posts over the conduits - and sure enough we did. I set stakes with orange flagging identifying the location and depth of the conduits and went to work.
I then hand dug 24 holes with a post hole digger to specific depths and in a specific grid to prepare to set the 4 x 4 posts that were to receive the sides and remaining irrigation and assemblies so we can grow great rhubarb and garlic.