What gardening projects are keeping you occupied this fall?

Vicky M.
Vicky M. Posts: 74 ✭✭✭

Here is what we are up to this fall. Jack my husband, found a good buy on a used Troy-bilt tiller and now he is tearing up the backyard. To expand our urban gardening space, we are removing our raised beds and all backyard Bermuda grass areas. We are expecting to triple our garden from 320 sf to over 1000 sf., add an area for raising rabbits and a chicken coop & run. Here are some pictures of our garden expansion project. 


Comments

  • Vicky M.
    Vicky M. Posts: 74 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    Removing raised beds.

  • Vicky M.
    Vicky M. Posts: 74 ✭✭✭

    Added amendments using 'dirt-dobber' our Troy-bilt tiller. 

  • Vicky M.
    Vicky M. Posts: 74 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    Smothering Bermuda grass with cardboard. 

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Vicky M. You have a beautiful backyard! Do to the fact I live in So. Calif. I am all for getting rid of grass and did so when I first moved in. This fall I am rethinking my garden set up, I have been having issues with creatures treating my garden as aa All-You-Can-Eat Buffet. So I am moving herbs that are not considered appetizing to buckets and my vegetables to the raised-beds that have covers. Also once I take out two ponds I will be planting fruit trees directly in the ground instead of trying to grow them in buckets, hopefully I will get more produce this way.

  • Vicky M.
    Vicky M. Posts: 74 ✭✭✭

    Lisa,

    First, thank you our urban garden is such a refuges to us! We were planning to try to find a house with acreage but just this year realized that was not going to work out for us. The not knowing was the hardest because thinking we would have to sell our house meant keeping it acceptable to the average homebuyer. Lol! Now consigned to staying put, goodbye Bermuda and hello more garden!

    Understanding your garden woes, even in our urban environment we have had foxes, skunks, opossums, mice, rats, squirrels, and rabbits with which to contend. The rabbits, rats & mice have been the most destructive leading us to protect veggies with netting but the most effective defense is our kitty. Now that we are letting her out to hunt every day, even the rabbits have disappeared! This mouser is an experienced hunter and rarely comes back empty mouth.

    Agreed, it is my experience, fruit trees do so much better in the ground. I hope you will document your progress in pictures and share it with us.  

    Wishing you green blessing.

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Vicky M. my neighbors cats love my yard, unfortunately one of them just managed to chase a lizard and mouse into my house, oh well. Every now and then I hear an owl or two which helps - fewer rabbits & squirrels and letting my ponds dry out has lessened the damage from raccoons. I do not mind the skunks, their holes are smaller (raccoons make my backyard look like world war III) and they eat snails same with opossums. My biggest issue right now are rats which ate my entire stock of tomato plants.

    Oh well, I always say that my garden is one big experiment! 😀

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    @Vicky M. that is a LOT of work! But most things we like are lol. I used cardboard to block a small flower garden this Spring. I put a double layer then topped with 3 inches of soil and compost. Sadly by mid Summer I was already having issues with the Bermuda grass coming through. It followed the layers like a maze but it is still a WHOLE lot better than doing nothing with it. So if you have enough cardboard, pile it high 😂

    I've been working on a new compost bed actually in the back yard. There was a 2X8ft. raised bed here when we bought. I used it a few times until I realized they had concrete blocks in the bottom half so limited root space. Also the boards were separating and bowing so bad that it kept losing soil. While I though the blocks were those inexpensive concrete blocks from the big box store I was wrong. They are bigger and thicker and I could barely lift one (no kidding there). And the 6 inches or so of soil just above them might as well have been concrete. I had to soak and scrape multiple times to get it off. There were a lot of roots throughout it that had not broken down so I had to get the soil away all the way around each block to be able to pry it up. Why do all the projects I think will take no time at all turn out to be a monumental pain? Guess that's life. So while that may seem like a quick thing for me it was most certainly not lol, so that's the only project that will get done most likely 😋.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    @Lisa K Cayenne pepper powder should help repel the mice. All mammals get the same "My mouth is on fire" effect so they should stay away.

    @Vicky M. Your garden is beautiful!

  • AngelaOston
    AngelaOston Posts: 249 ✭✭✭

    Setting up plastic tent greenhouses over planter gardens. And putting down wood chips in our arroyo stop the the mud f try im flooding into the road when it rains. Hoping to be able to start a high desert food forest in the arroyo next spring .

  • Vicky M.
    Vicky M. Posts: 74 ✭✭✭

    Would love to hear more about your arroyo, can you capture some of the water flow and sink it into your garden area using swells? Would love to see a photo of your work?

  • Vicky M.
    Vicky M. Posts: 74 ✭✭✭

    Hi Lisa,

    I hear you, and that is why I love gardening it is all one big experiment. Try something if it does not work on to the next idea.

    Well it sounds like your neighbor's cat is trying to help with your mouse problem but I'm not sure I would appreciate the houseguest she brings over. lol We have had success catching rats in a trap & drowning them in a bucket.

    I agree wildlife can be very helpful. The skunks here love to eat grub worms & opossums will rid the place of ticks so they are both welcome in my garden. Plantings of the carrot family, Elderflowers and onion/garlic blooms attract wasp, one of my favorite insects, as they comb my garden for cabbage moth caterpillars and even go after the tomato hornworm.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have an ongoing problem with mice in the house and garage, but have ignored them in the garden. Traps baited with sunflower seed, sliced almonds, or peanut butter have worked well.

    You might consider putting some traps in odd corners of the garden. If the bait is more appealing than the garden crops, you may be able to thin out the mouse population. You can't win that battle, but you can at least keep it under control.

  • Vicky M.
    Vicky M. Posts: 74 ✭✭✭

    So true, like you, our projects always end up taking more time or become more complicated than expected. We have successfully used cardboard to smoother Bermuda grass in the past but put wood chips on top. This time we are putting soil and planting an annual winter rye cover crop. Next fall we will till this under hoping to have killed the grass and the cardboard has deteriorated. I have dug out Bermuda grass with a garden fork & shovel and combing the soil out of its thick root tangles is not fun!!! However, I’ve had second thoughts about how effective this project will be, as you experienced, that grass has very wily roots.

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the @Cornelius I have used cayenne pepper in old gopher holes to discourage squirrels but did not think about providing an inhospitable area in the house.

    Thanks @VermontCathy I did not consider putting bait away from the garden and house.