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by Lauren at Modern Self-Reliance
Good morning all! Tim and I had a great Saturday morning (May 13) installing fencing and digging out our garden beds. For those who want to follow along, Tim and I rent 400 square feet of growing space at a community garden. We are responsible for everything, except they kindly roto-till the space at the beginning of the season. We were allowed to start planting this weekend, and we rushed on over to get started.
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We wanted to dig a small trench to set the fencing in. This way, it won't be as easy for small creatures to run under the fence. We had a problem with groundhogs last year, and hope to make our garden less appealing this year.
Our garden is laid out in 4 beds approximately 4 feet by 10 feet. This allows for some walkways between beds and maximizes growing space. Any deeper than 4 feet and I can't reach the center to weed or harvest without treading into the beds.
We will be posting updates throughout the summer with our yields, results and lessons learned. For last year's lessons learned check out ----- 10 Lessons Learned from Last Year's Garden -----. Last year the birds ate all my sunflower seeds and not a one sprouted. This year I have started them inside, hopefully awaiting their germination.
This summer we got the fencing installed in half the time and dug out the beds more. We have about 6-8" inches of nice tilled top soil until we hit clay. So we dig down to the clay for the paths and mound the good soil for our beds. This gives us more depth in our beds and less weeds in our walkways.
While we were out there, I also transplanted the first zucchini seedlings I started inside. Check out my tips on starting seeds inside ------ 3 Things to Consider when Starting Seeds Inside -----. We also planted many seeds for things we didn't plan to transplant. I currently have tomato, tomatillo and peppers seedlings growing inside until it's a little warmer for them. They will be transplanted in the few weeks or so. I am so excited to have seeds in the ground.
Here is our garden layout as it currently stands. As things get harvested and new things take their place we will update as we go!
Our Garden Layout
- Add mulch to prevent evaporation and reduce weeds.
- Install deep watering containers for the tomatoes and zucchini plants.
- Transplant tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers.
- Plant marigolds between tomatoes.
- Hope sunflower seeds sprout inside.
What garden questions do you have for us about our methods, our garden layout or community garden space? Does your town offer a space to garden? We feel very lucky our town has space in the back of an elementary school.
Looking for more? ----- How Much to Plant to Feed Your Family ------
Looking for the next garden update? ----- Preparing My Garden for Vacation: Community Garden Update -----
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Is it expensive to rent? I know my town does have a community garden, but not sure if it’s available for everyone. I have a small garden and I’m trying to grow corn, two kinds of tomatoes, beets, carrots, onions, cucumbers and beans. I know beans and cucumbers grow very well, but carrots didn’t work a few years back so I don’t know what I did wrong. My corn 2 years ago were very tiny… I’m definitely new to gardening! I look forward to know you and your tips!!
My community garden charges $50 for a 10’x20′ plot, or 200 square feet. This year and last I was able to purchase 2 lots. The lots are open to any town residents, and this year a Girl Scout troop has rented a lot to learn to grow! I tried corn last year with very little success, and others around me watched the bees get inside and eat their corn. Very sad indeed. However I did have great luck with carrots and tomatoes. Carrots definitely like loose soil, even sandy soil. They have trouble forming in hard, clay soil. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. Good luck with this summer’s garden