After eight seasons, it is time for a total garden remodel here on Two Oaks Farmstead. I am tired of fighting the current situation. It’s time to put a big win in my column!
Why the Garden Remodel?
Eight years ago I built the original garden here at Two Oaks Farmstead and it has had a good run. However, like any other good thing, there is a time for everything, and its time has come… and gone.
I’ve mentioned before that we have to use raised beds due to the clay content in our soil. Until I am able to amend them into a decent state, we will have to continue with raised beds. One of my biggest problems here, with or without raised beds, is the Bermuda grass that is everywhere!
It is simply not something that we can get rid of. We have tried everything except poison, which would also poison everything else. It finds its way in, wherever it decides to go. (Yes, I realize that I am giving human characteristics to grass, but it’s an absolute villain.)
My other issue is the fact that I tend to use regular wood to make my raised beds, not treated lumber. Treated lumber will leach chemicals out into the soil and plant life, so it’s not something I can do. I would rather just repair and replace them.
I also had a couple of other motives for the garden remodel. For one, I want to add to my greenhouse to have more room for seed starting. And two, I wanted to increase my backyard’s walking and entertaining room. We built the garden prior to building our natural pool, which left very little room in between.
Garden Remodel – Making it Happen
With a plan in mind, we set out to make it happen. The first step we took was to dismantle the original garden, piece by piece. My boys got in there and got very hands-on with this project which certainly helped me out a great deal. We waited until the garden was basically done for the year. It was overgrown and many of the beds were collapsing, having already been repaired several times.
After the structures; beds, fences, trellises, etc, were removed, we used the tractor to scrape all of the remaining vegetation away and into the compost, flattening the area to get ready for the next stage.
The Next Step
The next step in the garden remodel would be to extend the greenhouse, a process that we are currently undertaking. It is my plan to add an additional twenty-one feet to the length of the greenhouse. After marking the general area, my husband started a trench where the footing would have to be.
The trench is a definite helper on our hard ground. We still had to finish digging the footing to the exact dimensions necessary but it is a lot easier this way. I decided, this time, to use a cinder block footing on a gravel base. I am also carrying the gravel throughout the entire floor of the greenhouse.
The gravel will, not only assist with drainage, but it will also assist with thermal mass in the greenhouse. My youngest, Mason, and I put plastic down before we put the gravel in so that we could protect the greenhouse floor from weeds and my ever-growing catnip issue. (That’s for another post altogether!)
Garden Remodel – What’s Next
Part 2 of this post will detail the construction and redesign of the greenhouse. That’s what I am most excited about, especially considering the time of year. My seeds are in and it is time to get going!
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