Saturday, November 1, 2008

Gardens and Orchards

Well, with the first heavy frosts of fall/winter, I have lost my little garden. It wasn't much as I seem to have a 'red' thumb. If I tend plants much, they die, if I basically ignore them, they grown wonderfully. I really need to learn more about preparing a garden for easy care I think.

Over the past 2 years, we have dug up a garden about 10x20 and planted lots of vegetables. Most things grow OK as we have really good soil. Beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce seem to do super but I would love to learn how to grow other vegetables as well. Our biggest problem is that the grass and weeds take over. This gets discouraging for all concerned and tends to kill the plants we are trying to grow before what I believe their time really is.

Things I want to try to make our garden better:
1) cover the ground with plastic to kill off the grass and weeds.
2) raise the beds using boards and filling with more dirt (this may involve digging up and adding gravel under, not sure)
3) see about adding more fertilizer (we have it free from cows :) )
4) learn what may be the best plant groupings and when to get them planted.
5) find a better way to start seeds.

Now we also have an old (well before we moved here) apple and muscadine/grape orchard. The muscadines are not bad, though a bit on the tart side as it is a fairly damp area they are planted. The grapes are struggling from neglect more than anything but are actually donign better than they were 3 years ago. The apples have their own challenges. They are way over grown, and the trees to the south have grown up over them adding WAY to much shade (excess in mold and moss growth). I want to start trimming them this year but I don't want to over trim as that could kill them.

I hope to find information that a non-gardener can follow.


Denese said...

Something we use that really keeps weeds down is newspaper (black and white- not the shiny colored paper) and mulch. We just lay several layers of paper down and cover with straw or leaves. One year we ran out of mulch and just put a layer of dirt over the paper and that worked, too.
It's great for walkways! :)

How wonderful to have apple trees and muscadines! I don't have any...yet. Maybe next year.

Kristina said...


I have heard of the newspaper trick but never remember when I need it LOL. Will have to see about getting some newspaper now.