Thursday, September 30, 2010

A New Garden Bed

Our latest garden project is turning all our beds into Lasagna Beds.  Patricia Lanza, author of "Lasagna Gardening" spoke at a home show here in the spring, and I heard about five minutes of her presentation, enough to buy the book from Amazon, and leave it laying around where Keith could see it. 

I built the new perennial bed using her priniciples... started with a layer of horse-barn straw on the ground, over the grass/weeds we commonly have here.  On that went dirt (from bags) and manure and peat moss, in varying amounts.  Finally, I stuck in the perennial plants I bought this year willy-nilly, and it burst into flower and has delighted us all summer.  One plus is that we can pull weeds from it easily.  It was so prolific, in fact, that I am going to have to pull one perennial out that has become TOO at home. 

This was the first bed we made, in the spring. 

Now we have started another.  To be fair, Keith has started them, along with the help of Chris and Brandon, our summer helpers.  We are building it the same way, only Keith has laid landscaping paper under the beds.  We are doing not only another perennial bed on the other side of the arbor, but covering our summer vegetable garden, which will, from now on, be a no-till garden.  We have made compost the last few years, and some of that rich soil is now on the new perennial bed.  More will be put on the vegetable garden. 

This is the new perennial bed, from both sides.  Our goal is to have the arbor in the middle covered fully with hyacinth bean plant (dolichos lablab) next summer, making a bower.  Some of the other things we are planning are an arbor over the birdbath, that will include my little garden seat... and another excuse to grow climbing plants.  We are also placing a second arbor behind the first garden bed, stringing rope in between it and the original small arbor, and growing cypress vine across them. 

Here is part of the vegetable garden, half under paper now, and starting to spread straw, manure, peat moss and dirt on top.  We are hoping for great things next season!

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