The honest answer to this question? Gnarly. And it’s totally my own fault! We planned out our garden semi-following the square-foot method, and sort of how I remembered my parents setting up their garden when I was little (but their plot was a LOT bigger than mine–keep that in mind). And it sort of worked, except we forgot that plants grow, and we may, at times, want to actually get in between the plants to say, weed or harvest? Yeah. It’s a jungle.
It’s better now that the radishes are pretty much done, so we have a couple square feet to step into to weed the rest. Oh, and weeds! While we’re on the subject, does anyone remember that Dudley Do-Right cartoon where Snidely Whiplash sells people crabgrass seeds instead of normal grass? I never thought that was a particularly villainous move until I met crabgrass in person–it is the devil. Each stem puts down roots of its own, so not only do you have to pull those roots, but you still have to pull the main root!
Our garden was also rather hastily planned out since we moved so late in the spring. I’m already planning next year’s garden, and I can tell you it’s going to be a lot bigger than 8′ x 10′. I’m also looking into crop rotation and succession planting, and right now I’m starting to look at what prep I can do at the end of this season to make next year’s garden even easier! A few things on my list:
- raised beds of some sort running 2/3 the length of my backyard
- where to plant 4 red currant bushes this fall
- getting rid of the ugly spirea and hosta plants in the front of my house and turning some or all of the side beds along the front walk into brassica beds (kale, cabbage, broccoli, etc.)
- kills the weeds. all of the weeds. somehow.
- possible sunflower patch in our boulevard
- mobile herb pots for next year (they do NOT like where they are now).
The real question is how much of my back yard am I willing to give up to garden (a lot, if we can get the weeds under control!), and how best to design that garden for future years (I do not want to be redesigning it every year!). We’re also planning to put in a small brick patio under the dogwood in the backyard, and a sauna somewhere out there, too…so good design is my key priority so that all this can happen harmoniously!
For the immediate moment, though, I’m headed out to weed my tomato thicket. Wish me luck!