Sunday, July 11, 2010

Creating a New Garden

Every year we make some sort of an attempt at a garden and so far they have all been failures. My most common excuse is that we had to leave for a month to go to Anchorage and have a baby. This year there is no baby on the horizon :( so we decided to get serious about a productive garden. In the past we stuck the garden in an out of the way place where grass didn't even grow. This time we started with a spot where the grass grew the best which turned out to be right in the front yard.
We laid an old carpet over the selected area for awhile to try and kill the grass. Digging into green sod is difficult, but everyone pitched in and it went pretty fast.
As we dug we found that the area was mostly gravel. My North Dakota farmer husband was not impressed. We picked many rocks which we put in our new driveway (the old garden).

The truck is parked where the old garden used to be. I was able to lug enough rocks from the garden and the beach to outline the proposed driveway. When I go to weed the garden I bring my ice cream pail and collect rocks as I weed and then bring them up and dump them into the driveway.
We decided to plant potatoes in tires this year. Benjamin thought it was great fun to let Joshua stack tires around him until they got so high he started feeling hemmed in.

I made Joshua take them off.

Sarah, David, Kinsey and Benjamin had fun helping fill the tires with dirt and fertilizer.

Spreading fertilizer...
The fresh sod made rotor-tilling very difficult. Below Abigail is taking a turn.

We brought some wild raspberry bushes in to line the North edge of the garden. Anna is taking a break from digging by swinging on a tree.
Deborah, Quentin and Abigail are transplanting our rhubarb from the old garden to the new.
Abigail takes a major interest in the garden, she did a majority of the planting and initial watering with a lot of help from her brothers and sisters. We all help with the weeding. Watering hasn't been much of a problem since it has been a very wet cool summer.

Anna, my tree climbing daughter, took this bird's eye view of the yard.

The onion sets have done great and the transplanted rasberry bushes are blooming.

The cabbage and broccoli are also doing great and the transplanted rhubarb is flourishing.
We are still on a huge learning curve with Alaska gardening. The potatoes didn't come up at all. After consulting with Laddy, our master gardener friend up the lake in Port Alsworth, we found out that you have to sprout them before putting them in the ground. We also put them in too soon and with the wet cold summer they didn't have a chance. We're still planning to put a few in for practice. Maybe we'll get a few new potatoes before freeze up.

Hopefully, I'll be able to post another blog in a few months showing the harvest.

1 comment:

Savannah said...

looks great! I dug up a garden from sod this year too; lots of work! Though mine isn't anywhere near as big as yours!