Friday, April 17, 2009

My New Kitchen Garden

This year I decided to move my kitchen garden from the Back 40 to my front yard so it will be more accessible when I'm cooking. Our home is the last house on a dead end street, so I had not problem picking the front corner of the yard for this new garden. This plot will get full sun for most of the day and will make watering and other maintenance easier.

The first thing I did was lay out the 12 x 12 foot plot.

Then I moved several old tires to line the perimeter between the veggie garden and the perennial border. I will use the tires for my compost heaps and to start cuttings of shrubs, roses and other plants. The black frame in the background is an old futon - when I add the cushions it becomes my garden settee.

Because I want this to be a natural garden, I did not use any weed killers or poisons to kill the lawn. Instead, I layer thick pads of newspaper on top of the grass within the garden. The newspaper will kill the weeds, attracts beneficial worms and will decompose within a few months to enrich the soil. Vegetable roots will be able to easily penetrate the newspaper as they begin to grow.

I then hauled several wheel barrels of bark mulch to cover the newspaper. The mulch is almost 18 months old and it started as trees that Kentucky Utilities trimmed back in the winter of 2007. It is now rich, crumbly goodness that the veggies will love.

In a few days, I'll post a few more photos. As I have been planting the spring garden, I've been adding garden soil on top of the mulch and nestling the plants in snug. I'm then using straw to cover the soil and help protect the veggies.

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