I’ve had the good fortune of making friends with the Parish Agent for the Agricultural extension, Rob. Actually, we’ve been friends since the Ron Paul campaign, but I didn’t know what he did for a living. Anyway, we talked over lunch about my yard and the limits I have for growing vegetables. The sunniest part of my property is the driveway doing along the side of my house (which we don’t use). I haven’t wanted to tear that up in case we sell the house or change our minds about the driveway. So I build a gate between the house and the privacy fence and planted a bunch of stuff in pots. Well, Rob convinced me to go ahead and build raised beds and then just take them out if I ever need to, so I have started doing that. I made the first bed this weekend which is 8ft x 4ft. I shoveled out the gravel and compacted soil and dug down about two feet then added soil to about 6 inches above ground level. It’s bordered with landscape timbers. Next I’m going to make another 8×4 bed for the wife to grow herbs and then I’m going to make a very large bed about 6 ft x 15 feet. The latter will be hard to tend, but since I only have so much space I’m going to try to get as much as possible with it. After watching this video, I think I’ll use cinder blocks for my border for that. (Video: http://www.ky3.com/news/local/43761277.html)
My other sunny spot is the front yard. We’re still planning to make a hedge of Blueberry bushes along the north side when we have the extra cash. I read somewhere that carrots make a nice sidewalk border, tried it, and it is looking pretty good though it’s not a uniform border. Last night I pulled the weeds out of the flower bed in front of the porch (BTW we finally stained the porch and it’s looking good) and planted pumpkins that I hope will be orange come fall, more carrots, artichokes and some purple-hulled beans. They are planted in a kind of ornamental arrangement and I’m hoping they look good when it all comes up. I think the average person won’t know my flower bed is edible. We might put some nice looking herbs in a bed by the picket fence, but beyond that I don’t plan to turn my front yard into a garden.
So far we are having a steady and tasty harvest. Only lettuce, mustard greens and potatoes so far though. It’s all good, but the potatoes have been our favorite. The wife cooks them with rosemary (from her herb garden). My firstborn has a good time helping me harvest the potatoes too. It’s an Easter egg hunt and fun in the dirt rolled into one. His primary interest is flowers though.
We gave tomatoes the size of figs, figs the size of peas and squash the size of my index finger…and growing.