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Molly's New Garden 2021

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jimmy cee
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Post  mollyhespra 4/16/2021, 11:10 pm

As some of you might recall, DH suffered a pretty bad accident 4+ years ago now, from which he's made a really miraculous recovery.

For us at least, it's made us realize quite literally that life can change in a nanosecond and that we should do TODAY what we've been talking about doing for years.

SO, we bought a new house and moved to the country.

We've been here off and on (ongoing medical and other life issues have prevented us being here full time as yet) for a couple of years but in that time I've had a chance to get to know the land and am finally ready to break ground on a new garden and orchard combo.

I'd like to share my plans with you to get your feedback since there's still time to make changes.

For now, this is what I've got planned on paper.  
Molly's New Garden 2021 Molly_10


The garden is divided roughly in half with the right side of the plan being the veggie garden and the left side a fruit orchard.  I've got a landscaper coming in to install deer fencing all around the whole thing in about a month and a half because boy do I have critters.  Moose!  Deer!  Woodchucks!  Bears!  Wild Turkeys!

The long rectangular boxes on the right are the veggie garden with raised beds a la OG's corrugated 3' x 13' metal garden beds.  My plan is to have two areas of crop rotation: the four beds to the top right are for tall plants with each bed sharing a long length of the cattle panel archway trellis, and then the other 8 beds on the bottom of the plan are for shorter plants and also on a 4 year rotation.

(I love cattle panel arches, BTW.  I've had them in my original garden for years and have successfully grown even spaghetti squash hanging from them.  The squash hung down and looked like watermelons.  All the neighbors had something to say about them, lol.)

The gray rectangles you see around the beds represent three DIY movable high tunnel greenhouses made with electrical conduit pipes so that I can extend my growing season because I'm afraid that I'm now in a solid zone 3b here on the side of a mountain.  

On the left of the plan you see the orchard.  I planted 3 apple trees last fall, the first column on the left by the fence.  I'm hoping to add some hardy pears, plums, cherries, elderberry, haskaps, currants, blueberries, raspberries, etc.  Basically anything that will bear fruit in this frigid zone.

The rectangular shapes at the bottom right are an existing chicken coop and run. I don't have chickens but kept the coop in case I decide to try my hand at keeping chickens. 

I have some wild thimbleberries sprouting *inside* the chicken run which I'm hoping to harvest some fruit from this year.

The fencing is attached to the house (the large rectangle at bottom left) and chicken coop to save on materials and there's two gates: a large vehicle gate and a smaller person sized gate on the side of the chicken coop.

It's going to be a lot of work getting it all together, and I doubt I'll be able to plant anything this year in the new garden, so I'll still be using my "cheerleaders needed, please" original garden that I recovered from the weeds.

So I guess that's it for now.  Thanks in advance for any feedback and suggestions, especially for the fruit trees as I know very little about managing an orchard.


Cheers! Molly's New Garden 2021 3170584802


Last edited by mollyhespra on 4/16/2021, 11:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post  jimmy cee 4/16/2021, 11:18 pm

I think it looks wonderful. Only item I do not see is a compost area...Good luck though....
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Post  mollyhespra 4/16/2021, 11:25 pm

Thanks, Jimmy.  Yes, you can't see the compost area in the drawing. I have a huge pile going off to the right of the chicken coop made from my own kitchen waste and leaves from the past few years, etc. and I've got a humongous pile of compost from a local nursery that makes their own off to the north side of the area since I'm going to need to be making a LOT of MM to fill all those beds.  I'm sourcing other composts this year to add to the mix.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 4/17/2021, 6:48 am

Wow....  That looks GREAT, Molly!  I'm glad things are getting better for y'all!!  It's going to be exciting to see how things progress.
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Post  OhioGardener 4/17/2021, 8:56 am

Looks like a great plan, Molly. My only comment is on the long beds with the cattle panel arbors. The orientation of those beds seems like it would make the beds on the north side of the arbor shaded most of the day. I placed my arbor to run north-south so that the sun shines over the east side up until 1:00 or 2:00, and shines over the west side from about 11:00 until it sets. The arbor enjoys the sun on both sides.

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Post  OhioGardener 4/17/2021, 9:07 am

mollyhespra wrote:As some of you might recall, DH suffered a pretty bad accident 4+ years ago now, from which he's made a really miraculous recovery.

For us at least, it's made us realize quite literally that life can change in a nanosecond and that we should do TODAY what we've been talking about doing for years.

Love that sentiment, Molly! I, too, suffered a life changing accident a number of years ago, and made a miraculous recovery. In the accident I suffered three crushed vertebrae and a nearly severed spinal cord. The doctor said I'd probably never walk again, but through miraculous surgeries and physical therapy, I fully recovered. From that I learned not to sweat the small stuff, and live your dream today because tomorrow may not available to live it. Gardening has been my therapy for many years, and both the garden and I benefit from it.

____________________________

"In short, the soil food web feeds everything you eat and helps keep your favorite planet from getting too hot. Be nice to it."  ~ Diane Miessler, "Grow Your Soil"
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Post  jimmy cee 4/17/2021, 10:26 pm

Molly, it looks as if you have all the bases covered...
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Post  mollyhespra 4/20/2021, 8:54 pm

OhioGardener wrote:Looks like a great plan, Molly. My only comment is on the long beds with the cattle panel arbors. The orientation of those beds seems like it would make the beds on the north side of the arbor shaded most of the day. I placed my arbor to run north-south so that the sun shines over the east side up until 1:00 or 2:00, and shines over the west side from about 11:00 until it sets. The arbor enjoys the sun on both sides.

Yes, you're right OG. I had them running that way to try to save space, but I've just decided to push the fencing out a bit more to allow for more fruit trees so I'll be able to reorient those beds, too. Thanks for the nudge!

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Post  mollyhespra 4/20/2021, 8:58 pm

jimmy cee wrote:Molly, it looks as if you have all the bases covered...

Thanks, Jimmy! I sure hope so. I"m starting to get "analysis paralysis" over this plan. I'm so worried that I'll realize I forgot or miscalculated or something after the fence is up that I'm obsessing over every detail.

Plus last night the damnable deer ate the buds off the apple trees I planted last fall. Just as they were budding out too...the fence can't come too soon for me.
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Post  jimmy cee 4/21/2021, 10:45 pm

Molly, I had to live with herds of deer the entire 50 + years we lived in Indiana.our house was one block away from the hills leading into the wild. At one time I counted 15 deer laying in my back yard. Of course there was a reason, we had 2 surviving apple trees from a long ago orchard, the produced apples only good enough for critters to eat...A pear tree that was there when we move in and still producing beautiful eating pears when I moved out..The sweetest tasting pear I ever ate, good size also. I never did anything to the tree but cut it back. I finally found a 3 foot hi fence kept deer from jumping into my bed area. My beds were close together and I had steel uprights supporting beds.Deer could sense danger if they jumped over.. I never had one even try, they would stand outside and look in at all that delicious stuff they could feast on... Raccoons, groundhogs, were another issue....Molly's New Garden 2021 Garden11
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Post  mollyhespra 4/22/2021, 6:21 pm

Yes, the woodchucks!!! If something isn't trying to jump over the fence it's trying to dig under it. Fortunately I've got the 'chucks figured out from my last garden. You had a nice setup there, Jimmy! Glad it kept the deer out! :-)
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Post  jimmy cee 4/22/2021, 10:41 pm

When I built my deck I left 1/4 inch gaps between the flooring. no barriers to keep anything from camping underneath. Years went by and one day I notice something strange underneath, the back fur of a groundhog..After a few futile attempts to get him out,  I loaded up my high powered pellet gun, put a blanket over myself and laid in the grass close to the only area he could get out..sometime later  I saw a head popping out and let one shot go right into the head.. He went back into hiding, I waited a few days, then closed the gap I left open for his escape....Never saw him again....
I had 8 gorgeous broccoli plants going. went to check one evening and everyone was chewed down to stubs...It was hard to believe one groundhog could eat so much.
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Post  OhioGardener 4/23/2021, 8:52 am

jimmy cee wrote:I had 8 gorgeous broccoli plants going. went to check one evening and everyone was chewed down to stubs...It was hard to believe one groundhog could eat so much.

Having seen the damage the groundhogs did to soybean fields, it is easy to know the damage they can/will do.  We recently had one attempt to make a burrow in our front yard, where kids play. That wasn't to be allowed.

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Post  donnainzone5 4/23/2021, 12:58 pm

Same problem with broccoli, only it was deer!  They also devoured most of my tulips.

Until last year, I seldom had much of a problem.   Mad
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Post  seamammal 4/25/2021, 3:56 pm

Looks great. Can I ask what you used to make that plan
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Post  mollyhespra 4/29/2021, 9:03 pm

seamammal wrote:Looks great. Can I ask what you used to make that plan

Thanks, SeaMammal. I used an online garden planner from https://www.growveg.com/

It requires a yearly subscription but is really worth it, IMO. You can create next year's garden by forwarding the plan from this year and it will flash red when you try to put in a plant where you planted the same type the year before.

It also has SFG mode which is very useful.

HTH!

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Post  jimmy cee 4/29/2021, 10:04 pm

mollyhespra wrote:Yes, the woodchucks!!!  If something isn't trying to jump over the fence it's trying to dig under it.  Fortunately I've got the 'chucks figured out from my last garden.  You had a nice setup there, Jimmy!  Glad it kept the deer out!  :-)
I was glad also, a herd of deer made encampment in our back yard.
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Post  seamammal 4/29/2021, 11:17 pm

awesome, thanks, I actually subscribe to their garden planner a couple of months ago but haven't had the time to use it. I'm diving into it this weekend.
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