Monday, November 05, 2012

Garden Expansion...

One of the challenges associated with gardening in a semi-tropical environment is that plants just don’t know when to die. For example – my tomato plants are covered with green fruit, the squash are squashing, peppers peppering and the eggplant are still going strong.

Some gardeners might think this is a good thing. Problem is – if you don’t pull these “survivors” there’s no room to plant traditional fall crops like broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, mustard, etc. That’s the dilemma. We don’t want to trash these producing plants, but there is no room to plant anything else. The only solution – build more beds.

The 3 new 4’x10’x10” beds are identical to the existing beds, including irrigation. I’ve really come to love the battery operated solenoids by Dig. They’ve been super-dependable, easy to operate and so far, no repairs required. They’re a little pricey but you get what you pay for.

As far as soil goes, I bought 4 yards of bed mix from El Jardin and had it delivered. That was a little pricey too but in for a penny in for a pound. Filling the beds required a shovel, wheelbarrow and LOTS of ibuprofen.

I decided to lay weed barrier down in these new beds. I’ve never used it before but despite several attempts to kill the Bermuda grass/weeds, I didn’t get everything. Hopefully this barrier will help reduce problems later on.

The final step was spreading a couple of pickup loads of mulch/chips from the Galveston recycling center on to the walkway. I’m really starting to like this material. Seems like they’re grinding it a little finer these days, making this recycled product more suitable for gardening/landscape use. There are still some pretty big junks in there but not bad.

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