Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Garden




I've spent all spring and summer digging up my yard. I started the year with a mound of grassed over dirt that was about 15feet X 15 feet, and about 3-4 feet deep. My wife and i dug the sucker up over the course of about 2 months. At the end of that time, we discovered that previous tenants of our home were very lazy and covered what looked like rubble from a very large fountain made out of shale. They just dumped dirt on top of it, over the pump and everything. There were about 3 truck-loads of brick, shale and random concrete rubble, and we were able to dump it very inexpensively at Pacific Topsoil over near the corner of 105th and Aurora (about $30 per truck load of rock, concrete and brick).

We had at least a ton of dirt to move, and simply spread it out on our ugly and weedy lawn, covering the whole thing by the end of the process of mound removal. I really hope that it doesn't grow back up through the dirt, but its been so dry this summer, that I am guessing all that old lawn is dead by now, and that it will eventually decompose.

After the mound was removed, I spent a few weeks planning and building a raised bed in which I plan to plant a nice vegetable garden next spring. To fill in the planter, I've bought 6 yards of "Special Garden Mix" topsoil I purchsed from Pacific Topsoil. I probably bought 2 yards too many, but was able to spread it out nicely across parts of the yard to sweeten the soil. Look at the rediculous hops vine sprawling on my deck - next summer it will be strung up with that pole I cut out of the pear tree.

I then planted 15 X 15 foot patch of shade type grass in the spot my former mound used to be. Its a nice spot cause it gets shade during the hottest parts of my afternoon (the time of day my deck just bakes in the sun).

I've been waiting for the rains and cooler weather to start buying, moving plants around the yard. So far this September, I've been able to get quite a few good deals at the Sky Nursery - they have some 30% off deals on perennials, and now is the time. I'll try and get pictures up of the process over time.

In August, I thought I would get a head-start on my veggie garden. I made a boner move though, and planted a storage onion (Copra onions) instead of overwintering onions (which you should avoid my mistakes next year and pick Walla Walla or Hi-Ball). I've also planted 4 little spots with loose-leaf lettuce (a variety pack from Territorial.) I've got a question out to some gardeners at OSU about the Copra onions and if I should just plant over them with a green cover this winter and forget about them, or leave them be and see if it works out. I'll probably just leave them and report back here if / when they fail.

I still have some work to do this fall. I have to plant my cover crops - I don't want grasses and weeds to invade the yard, and I want to add some organic matter to my soil this winter. The dirt under that mound after the first 6-10 inches was pretty depleted, but it was nice loam. Certain parts were pretty clayish though :(