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Here's the start of my new urban place

 
Posts: 62
Location: Western MA, zone 5b
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I closed on this property one year ago this week,  it's hard to be patient.    My first priority,  since I have German Shepherds moving from 8 acres in the country to "the city" was to help them be good neighbors with a buffer zone around the backyard to prevent "fence wars" with neighbor dogs.    This spring I got some free wood chips and put down cardboard and thick chips through the buffer zones, and put in a two raised bed areas for veggie/herbs, one at either end.   I do need some "lawn" and mow-able exercise space for the dogs, but I've been overseeding and judiciously weeding to support different clovers, plantain, purslane, and dandelions (I don't have many of those,  not enough neighbors with seed to blow over) and I keep it mowed long.   I started right away planting in the buffer zone too,  things that will give privacy between the fences, a mix of edibles and some ornamentals/ wildlife cover too.   So far:   blueberries, rhubarb, gooseberries, strawberries, hazelnuts, pawpaw, comfrey, sochan, roses, bayberry, blackberry, mulberry (potted), catmints and hosta, cherry, some perennial and/or reseeding herbs,  serviceberry, willow,  and some holly and azalea.   I have one rain barrel;   finding additional ways to collect and store rain water is a project for the near future as well.   I've got a small area set up to start propagating cuttings for trading.  I also 'snuck' in a rabbit for the backyard to add ingredients to the compost bins.   So far no complaints from the neighbors, lol,  hoping to have some produce to share this fall and keep them happy
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master pollinator
Posts: 11375
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
743
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
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Nice!
 
pollinator
Posts: 257
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Cool... are you going to plant trees?

My yard's even much smaller than yours, and I planted all trees where you've made a veggie growing section. I might grow vegetables in raised beds.
 
Heather Staas
Posts: 62
Location: Western MA, zone 5b
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Yes!   I've already put in 2 river birch,  hazelnut, asian pear, pawpaw, serviceberry, fig and persimmon.   My neighbors have 6 maples on the property line that shade my yard in a lovely way, but they are talking about taking them ALL down next year.   So I'm looking at both a self-fertile pecan and a nitrogen fixing honey locust.  OH I also have a white mulberry that is potted right now.    If they take down those trees it's going in the ground   I've put in a LOT since I posted this and it's just the first year here.   An herb spiral, blackberries, more mints and more perennials.  I have food and veggies everywhere, but the fenced veggie spot is a good place for things that need rabbit protection.    I already can't wait for next spring to see the growth.  
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Tim Kivi
pollinator
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Cool. I like your brickwork; how do you prevent the soil falling through the cracks?  

Some of my trees haven’t grown in over a year and I think it’s the root competition of neighbouring trees that’s doing it. It’s why I planted a black mulberry and a fig tree, because their roots are so strong I figure they’ll have the best chance to grow.
 
Heather Staas
Posts: 62
Location: Western MA, zone 5b
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I used a small dab of gorilla glue construction adhesive on the bottom side of the bricks just to help stabilize it.   It needs to hold up to my German Shepherds if the decide to chase a chipmunk around or over it   I suspect some dirt will come through here and that but I'm not worried too much by that.   The inside corners of the bricks touch, and over time plant roots, etc. and settling will keep the majority of it in I'm sure.   It was fun to build,  all reclaimed bricks.  
 
Tim Kivi
pollinator
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There's a corner of my yard where NOTHING grows. It's probably because of a neighbour's old tree and a yukka right near it, as well as intensely hot and dry afternoon sun. Even weeds don't grow there. I'm going to take your brick work idea and build a raised bed in that corner, perhaps with something along the bottom to stop the yukka and tree roots growing upwards into it (can they do that?). Free bricks are so easy to get where I live because people are always giving them away.
 
Posts: 30
Location: Reno, NV
fungi trees
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Looks great but where are the mushrooms :) would add some mushrooms in that mulch and collect from time to time some
 
Heather Staas
Posts: 62
Location: Western MA, zone 5b
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Love the mushroom idea, that is going on the list.    I've got more perennial veg. seed to start next year and add to the gardens (sea kale,  sweet cecily).    Here's a quick fall herb spiral update,  everything I put in is doing fabulous,  we'll see what overwinters for me.   Chives and garlic chives seedlings are too small to be seen here but they are doing well too.   The 9 Strawberry plants I put in in the spring have easily become 200 plants.    I potted and gave way too many to count, and used several 6 packs to start a new strawberry patch as well.    The current patch has crept through the fences and confiscated part of the path for itself as well,  hoping for a great harvest next year.   More serviceberry trees went in this fall as well.    Haskap and nanking cherry on the wish list for next year.
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Tim Kivi
pollinator
Posts: 257
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How did you get so many strawberry plants? Through seed or runners?

I get strawberries growing fine in containers but in the ground mine don’t grow or fruit. Even mine in containers give only a few strawberries.
 
Heather Staas
Posts: 62
Location: Western MA, zone 5b
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I had read to pinch off the first year flowers so that's what I did.   They spread like CRAZY with runners that rooted 3-4 new plants along each one.   Way more than I expected in the first year.   One everbearing and one June bearing variety, but they are impossible to tell apart now.   Back in July:  
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Heather Staas
Posts: 62
Location: Western MA, zone 5b
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and the same strawberry bed today (October).      I put in a 6-pack and a 3-pack back in the early spring,  was not expecting this sort of results in the first summer.    

In the very first picture in this thread you can see the small row of them,  just to the right, in the front part of the small raised bed!   Crazy.  
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pollinator
Posts: 1003
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Which variety of pecan is self-fertile?
 
Tim Kivi
pollinator
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Inspiring! I won’t give up on strawberries then.

When I started my urban garden I had so many ideas of what to grow. Now a few years later I’ve come to appreciate focusing on what grows easiest in my local conditions, which in the case of the easiest plants doesn’t require any focus at all. As far as berries go, mulberry is the easiest berry-like fruit I have growing, so I’ll plant a few more mulberry varieties in containers. If I can’t manage to produce many strawberries with different methods I’ll just give them up and focus on what grows easier.
 
Heather Staas
Posts: 62
Location: Western MA, zone 5b
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Re: pecans,  still researching.   I have come across several types/ varieties that are self-fertile but produce more when they have a pollinator, and a larger number that say they require a different pollinator.    What I haven't done yet is cross-check that short list to make sure multiple sources say the same thing about it, and then I need to check their reputability and read reviews.

Re:  strawberries.    Next year will be the first production year so then I'll have a better idea if it's inspiration worthy or not   Right now it's a lot or gorgeous green leaves, but they've got their first winter ahead and then first producing year (hopefully).
 
Ken W Wilson
pollinator
Posts: 1003
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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They usually don’t have any problems with winter.
 
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