Oct 8, 2008

Keyhole Garden

The Matt and Ingrid wanted to start a family garden. They had one years ago but found it high maintenance and constantly weedy. The new design will be intensely planted using Polycultures and Permaculture principles. Interplanted vegetables and a few perennials will be surrounds by a two foot border of Nasturtiums. Plants with natural pest controls and fungicides will assist each other in producing a good crop and few inputs.
We took out a large portion of the yard.
Below we roughed the shape with garden hose.

Upon finalizing the shape we marked it with grass paint and mowed the area down as low as possible for the sod cutting.
The garden is 26 feet wide with a 6 foot perimeter garden and an 8 foot center garden.
It is a keyhole garden with a 3 foot wide entrance and inner path.The access faces east by the stakes near the mower.
Ingrid kicks the sod cutter. It is hard work, but the grass roots were shallow because the grass was always cut short and all the energy went to top growth.
The grass is rolled and moved to a new berm area for composting. Since the property was part of a golf course the soil is very sandy and top soil is deep. We angered down about three feet with no shift to a B Horizon. As soon as the grass is removed and the garden is started the nutrients will leach down into the soil. Plant roots will be many feet deep into the soil. Asparagus alone will be 10 feet deep in a few years.
Next we added a bale of peat to the sandy Loam soil. It was getting fluffy.
The tiller mixed in the peat. The last time this garden will see one hopefully. The Soil is Loamy Sand and needs organic matter. The airy texture and quick to drain soil will burn up organic matter pretty fast so it will be important to cycle in all OM taken from the garden. Well composted kitchen scraps and a constant supply of ground cover to keep the soil moist and cool.
Paper is put down, then manure and straw. A modified sheet mulched garden. The paper is a temporary weed barrier and keeps the manure from leaching into the soil prematurely.
This will all be ready after cooking all winter.

The pole is the center of the garden. It will be used for the bean trellis and as a center of interest and perhaps a drip irrgation container.

Happy customer.
Now we start to draw and plan the Polycultures that will be planted in the spring. More photos soon.

An orchard is also in the works for the northeast corner of the property. They are starting slow and they will spend the winter going over the design, building an extensive plant list, and the how plants will be arranged. The entire garden was prepped in about four hours.



Back home with the garden tool kit. I think I work on our new garden area soon.


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Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design

Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design
Getting to know your property, the plants you have and those you can grow, is a fulfilling endeavor. With most I am the steward of the land. I give them good soil biology and they do the rest. If I group them in cohesive plant communities, they respond with greater yields. If I encourage the micro-organisms (Fungus and bacteria) , the roots obsorb more nutrients making a pest and disease resistant plant. A stronger plant that gives us more organic food and takes less energy.

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A Ten Acre Farm Transformed to an Edible Forest Garden
Self Renewing Fertility, Soil Building, Water Catchment, Tea Trail Swale, Erosion Control and Native American Medicinals