It has now warmed up to 27 degrees F. here. The sun is shining, but that isn’t helping much. The forecast says, “A cold final day of winter before a spring warm up.”
I really hope the weather folks are right because I’ve had my fill of cold and am itching to play in the dirt of my garden. I’m planning to prep the garden and get some things planted next week, unless the forecast changes.
Right now I have weed barrier cloth cut to size in each of our six 4′ x 4′ wooden planters. The cloth has been held down by bricks, hoping to keep the weed growth to a minimum this year. I’ll take pics when I start prepping the boxes so you can see if it worked or not.
This is an old pic, showing when we used string to mark the planting ‘squares.’ Now I use wire because it is much more sturdy. You can see the irrigation system. We strung pieces of hose together between sprinklers in the center of each box, attached to a piece of wood that runs between 3 boxes in a row. There are two rows of planters. We have the whole thing on a timer so things are watered daily automatically.
We built the boxes in the shop, then hauled them out to the garden area. We welded angle iron together to make the supports for the boxes. We put them at my chest level so that I don’t have to bend over double or get down on my hands and knees to plant, weed, or harvest. My body really appreciates that.
The six planter boxes are surrounded by fencing to keep the deer out. We also put chicken wire around the bottom to keep rabbits and other critters out. We have a ‘door’ to close off the area. I put neon tape around the perimeter of the fence to give a heads up to the deer so they don’t run into it.
Since we live on top of a ridge line, we have no soil. Everything up here that isn’t rock was trucked in – some to be able to have a ‘yard’ around the house. All else is rock and woods.
We fill the planter boxes with “Mel’s Mix” (Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Garden) – a combination of peat moss, Vermiculite, and as many different kinds of compost as we can find or create. I use mushroom, barnyard, and cotton, plus we try to make our own.
I can’t wait to get started this year!