Wednesday, April 7, 2010

“April showers bring May flowers...”

It’s just the beginning of April and yet we’ve had both the showers and the flowers! A month ago I had a truck-load of compost delivered by Carol (the Compost Lady), and I started shoveling. After more than a few wheelbarrows filled to brimming, I took a break and covered the compost with a tarp in case it rained. Well, good thing I did - in between quite a few storms I managed to finally get all the compost off my driveway and spread throughout my garden. In the meantime, my yard has come alive.

Recently I decided that I wanted to maximize my edible-garden space. Several years ago I had brick raised beds built.

The area of my yard that has the vegetable garden is the only area that gets full-sun throughout the day. In order to expand I took a sledge hammer to two of the brick beds, the middle 8-foot round and a back rectangular bed. I drew out a 20 foot circle and decided that in it there would be four concentric rings - four rows to plant in.

I should have cancelled my membership at the gym because the digging, shoveling and moving brick was, and continues to be, far more intense than my workouts at the gym! The reward for this manual labor however is way greater than any gym workout, my garden is getting rebuilt and it’s so beautiful outside - much nicer than the smelly gym. From the picture you can see that I’m almost done. The weather forecast looks good so I’ll be able to finish and be ready for my spring planting.

Before I started this endeavor I read up on the best methods of digging the beds. A great resource was Barbara Damrosch’s book, Garden Primer. She and her husband have a large organic farm in Maine and much of their produce is used in local restaurants, even some in New York. I used Barbara’s method of double digging and I’ve even drawn a little diagram of how it’s done:

This is where I used a lot of the compost that I had delivered. I'm excited to see how it all turns out!

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