Garden planning

judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,365 admin

Just two months... and maybe a couple of weeks until I go home! I've been in the central NC sandhills all winter. Last frost in the mountains is May. I awoke at 4 AM and began planning my spring garden! This year, I think I will rearrange everything. Given a lot of thought, I think I've not made full use of certain areas that get a bit more sun. I'm going to go over old beds and make new beds, double digging - biointensive style. I have tons of organic matter I can put int he soil due to tons of overgrown stuff that I have neglected. I think that just int he 1/4th acre or so around the house, I can put in around 3,000 sq ft of 6 ft wide, double reach beds. I am unsure so far about low tunnels. It gets so dang cold in the higher mountains of NC that they can only extend the season 6 weeks... 3 on either end most years. But heck... I've gotten 300 lbs of produce in an intensively planted 200 sq ft bed not growing in winter, pulling and replacing plants as harvested. Really excited about utilizing more vertical spaces... trellis hog panels around the house for anything vining... indeterminate tomatoes, beans, summer squash, eggplants, cucumbers, hardy kiwi, passion fruit. I also have an area that needs some hedge and a green screen... maybe hawthorn and barberry... maybe autumn olive... definitely a green screen of hops. Int he back, I have way too much arbor vitae. I want to cut it out and plant blackberries for fruit and as a deer buffer. Time and money permitting, maybe turn the back porch into a glassed sunroom and expand the front porch into a deck, both for pitted plants. A scruffy area could be cleared for a few apple and cherry trees. And, mushroom logs could go over the area where the septic tank is - oysters, shitakes, etc. If I cut a couple of white pines, I could add a grape arbor.... toss in a few rabbit boxes and DPs... Heck if I accomplish 20% of that, I'll have tripled food production!



  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 916 ✭✭✭✭
    1. What are trellis hog panels?
    2. What are DPs?

    These plans sound amazing! I wonder how much of this you’ll actually accomplish... Winter is definitely a season to garden plan

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,365 admin

    Hog panels are premade fence panels that are metal, ridged wire and in a grid pattern. They are a bit pricey, so I may figure out a temporary support until I decide what I want where.

    DPs are Dogproof traps. Basically, it is a little tube in which a racoon gets its hand stuck... totally safe and humane, like a little handcuff or the old "Chinese Finger Trap". You it it with a bit f dogfood or sardine oil and harvest meat each morning so they don't kill your chickens.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 you’re going to be a busy man! Hope you get most of your plans done. How many hops plants do you normally grow? I’m trialling one in a pot this season, not sure if that’s enough.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,365 admin

    I haven't grown them before since I have a friend who has them all over his property. I guess I'll start with a dozen or so and see how it goes.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,423 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 it is so motivating to hear other people's plans. Thanks for sharing! Good luck with all the plans!

    I also have tons of plans this year that are time and money permitting. I probably won't be able to accomplish all of them this year. I think that it is feasible for me to double if not triple what I have been producing. If I am successful it will be such an amazing feeling.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 Hops are fun and usually very productive. You will enjoy growing them.

    I also double dig my gardens. I do not walk on the afterwards so one digging will last a long time. Also if I cover them with straw or leaves in the later fall any weight from the snow does not compact the soil so in March I can go out and stick my hand in ther soil and plant - if we don't have frost!

    I have a ton of new ideas for the garden. Most are smaller ones and closer to the house. I also know that with family issues I have to have help in my gardens and other projects sop that is my biggest challenge this year. How to get help and any possible bartering or trades to help with cost when possible.

    @SuperC I often find hog panels free at older farms or auctions. They are fantastic for those heavy crops. I also will buy them, if I have to, when they are on sale. Once you purchase them they last forever so it s good buy - but I love free!~

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    Awesome plans! You will be a busy man trying to get all of this accomplished. It inspires to me get moving on my spring/hot weather grow bags garden going.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,365 admin

    If I prepare and plant a 6x10ft space each day, 5 days a week, starting April 1, I should have it done by mid-June. Of course, there will be rainy days though.

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 I don’t know how you get all of that and your writing done. I work full time and find it hard to get things done. Right now I have about 30 min. From first light until I need to leave for work. And it is dark again by the time I get home. I bought a really bright rechargeable light hoping that helps me be able to see to get more done. I am trying to tackle at least 1 thing every weekend, to become more self sufficient.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,365 admin

    Usually, 2 Hours a day writing, 2 hours a day gardening, 2 hours working on other projects around the house and property, 2 house fishing or hunting. That leaves 16 hours for cooking, errands, playing music, reading, goofing off and sleeping!

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 Your plans are impressive. I hope you're able to get as much done as possible.

    I'm overwhelmed with all the things to do and all that I want to do. So I am trying to keep it simple, just get a garden planned and planted.😊

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,520 admin

    Those are ambitious plans @judsoncarroll4!

    Managing to keep to a schedule like you have laid out is impressive. I tend to get involved in something and then hours later, I still have all the other things left to do. I would need to have a timer.

    I am considering some sea buckthorn for a hedge. But I'd need so much of it. I hope to be able to get some blackberry shoots this year. They make a very good barrier but I am concerned that they might become invasive.

    A dozen hop plants? Are you going to be selling hops? I have 3 plants and its more than enough for my purposes plus enough to sell at the farmers market.

    I envy you having mushroom logs. I've tried it before but we are just too cold for shitakes.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,365 admin

    Tha tis really more like an ideal day's schedule. I can usually keep that up for 3 months or so and get a lot done. But like yesterday and today, I am having computer trouble and not accomplishing much.

    I want the hops to form a green screen, so I need to fill in an area. Mushrooms grow like CRAZY here!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,520 admin

    I meant to add what I am planning this year as well as the blackberries.

    I want to add more perennial food plants. I planted asparagus last year but with the heat dome, I think it was too much for them. Only a few came up. So I will wait to see what comes up this spring and then replace those that didn't survive.

    Jerusalem artichokes have been ordered along with purple raspberries. Elderberries are also ordered.

    I want to expand my plantings of blueberries and haskap berries. And add goji berries. I'm pretty sure they will survive the winters but the last ones I tried didn't survive the deer. I will have to cage them.

    Grapes are on a wish list but don't know if I will have time for them. They will need some ground prep and a proper trellis or fence of some kind to grow on.

    We are going to be digging up some wild hazelnuts and bringing them to our property. We'll have to figure out a way to keep the squirrels out but we should have a couple of years to work on that before they start producing.

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 731 ✭✭✭✭

    Interesting stuff to dream about here.