Where I Plant

winter garden state


This is what my garden looks like right now, and this is basically where everything will be.

In the top right corner are four garden boxes, each roughly 4 feet x 8 feet.

Along the top of the retaining wall is a border bed- by the stump is (what’s left of) my strawberry patch, after digging up  to replace a broken water pipe.  The bed is 2-3 feet deep.

Behind the stump is another planting area- the dirt is pretty bad down towards the street, but this is where the blueberries are.  Raspberries will be transplanted, along with permanent trellising, this month.

Along the side of the driveway is another planting strip- it’s about three feet deep, and about 15 feet long.  This is the only portion of our property that gets sun, so we made our front yard into the garden space.  We are VERY lucky to have understanding neighbors, who view all this as an improvement over the neglected state of the yard before we moved here 4 years ago.  Very lucky.

Our permanent fruits right now are the fig tree, in the lawn; plum tree, in the back yard; blueberry bushes; strawberry plants; raspberry canes; thornless blackberry canes.  I planted 6 asparagus crown last  year along the wall, but they didn’t make a good showing- it’s a wait and see game right now to see if they’ll survive.

My favorite resources for shoe-horning plants into tight places are here, but I’ll be adding these to the “gardening resources” tab at the top of the page.

The trick to getting a lot out of a little space is to not think in monoculture rows.  Plant root crops with leafy crops, tuck starts in when you free up a spot, sprinkle lettuce seeds wherever the ground is bare, plant beneficials together like spinach that will shade heat-averse strawberries.  Also, think about growing up- squash, melons, peas, beans can all be trellised quite happily.  Container gardening is a great space extender- grow potatoes in old garbage cans or coffee sacks, use pots for herbs that like to run away, that kind of thing.  If you have space, start seeds in trays in a sunny window or greenhouse, so that when space frees up in the garden you can put them in the ground with a head start.

6 Responses

  1. What do you do to prevent contaminates from getting in with the garden so open? That’s been one of my concerns living in urban spaces.

    • J, which kind of contaminates? This isn’t a busy street, and nobody around here sprays their yards around here. The ground level dirt was all trucked in, as was the garden box dirt.

  2. I imagine the boxes help. That’s something I’ll have to remember. Living in Africa as we did, we had to be mindful of any run-off from unknown sources that would get into the garden. We had it in an elevated spot, but I like the idea of boxes. Trucking in dirt would help too. Thanks.

    • Oh yes, I can just imagine. This has been a quiet suburban area for the last thirty years, with almost no slope. Trucked in dirt really helps- I’m not patient enough to wait years for my clay dirt to get fixed up with lots of compost and sand 🙂

  3. This is so great! I look forward to following your gardening plans. I am going very simple this year, so nothing exciting to post on my blog in ref. to my garden. I look forward to learning some new things.

    • Hahaha- Alexandra, me too! I’m learning allll the time 😉 Wish you were closer, I’m going to have a lot of extra plants to get rid of this year!

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