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Attaining Sustainable

Visioning:

My vision is a year-round edible garden that is pleasing to the eye and that provides bountiful, organic and sustainable harvests every season. 

The challenges I face include limited sun as the trees in neighboring properties fill-in, critters eating away at my progress and less time than I initially planned to spend in the garden. I think our soil is too acidic since we're surrounded by pine trees. We bring in truck loads of a half-soil half-compost mix from our local landfill (they have an awesome composting yard) for the planting beds. 

My husband and I built a couple of raised beds, which I would like to improve upon. We built a three-section compost bin but never enclosed it to keep animals out so i haven't utilized table scraps yet. I hope to built a rain barrell this year as well.

I have been very successful with herbs but have never seemed to have substantial tomato or squash plants at our house. I would ideally like to be able to grow enough tomatoes that I can cook and jar enough spaghetti sauce to last all winter.

I've decided i need to fence in my main planting area and I will hang a sign by the gate. I would like it to be in metal but i'm not entirely sure how to do this... yet. We have a scrap yard nearby so I will head over there and see if there's anything suitable for what i'm looking for. I'm still debating the name but leaning toward something that plays off our street name: Don Juan Cir. 

A couple of idea boards:

Assignment 2: Garden layout & sun diagram:

I found our property survey and enlarged the back yard so i could get a halfway decent sketch with some sense of scale. Most of the trees surrounding the property have not filled in yet so I expect my june sun-diagram to look a little different. The yellow areas are the only "full sun" areas. Orange is 4-6 hours, light blue is 2-4 and dark blue is all shade. 

Garden Wish List

Grow!

  • Herbs – basil, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, cumin, chives, parsley, thyme, mint, lavender, sage
  • Veggies – tomatoes galore, tomatillos, various squashes, onions, garlic, lettuce, beets, carrots, celery, raspberries, peas, beans. I love experimenting with heirlooms and unusual varieties. 
  • Cutting flowers
  • Anti-mosquito plants - lemongrass, creeping thyme
  • Bulbs! Daffodils are my favorite. Would like to start lots of alliums too
  • Shade plants – the yard is full of shady areas that are largely left un-used.
Garden related goals:
  • Get compost bin back in working order. Start composting table scraps
  • Build a rain barrel (preferably from a wine barrel ... the cost has kept me from doing this so far)
  • Install drip irrigation
  • Use plants to make our patio more inviting and "room-like"
Garden timeline:

2013 Spring/Summer
  • complete patio and retaining wall
  • establish wildflower garden at base of deck
  • build two more raised planter beds
  • Fence in garden area
  • Rain barrel
  • Complete compost bin

2013 Fall

  • Dig up lawn and re-seed (or convince husband to get rid of grass entirely)
  • Dig up old bulbs and divide

2014

  • Build greenhouse on side of house
  • Build work area/harvest area
  • Take down sick pine tree
  • Finally convince husband to let me get chickens and bees.

Planting Matrix & Layout (tough to read all tiny like this but our growing season is pretty long down here in VA)

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