I have big plans for a future project out in the country, but in the meantime I am trying to improve my yard and make it as sustainable as possible.
It's slow going.
The entire lot is about 50'x110' with the house in the middle of it all.
I live in an area with 335 days of sunshine; a transition area between desert and prairie.
Most of our moisture comes from winter snow (strangely we had very little this year - it's going to be dry) and May/June rains.
I need to get a couple rainbarrels to collect the water that runs off our roof.
My front yard is mostly stone-covered. When we moved in (almost 6 years ago), it was all dirt - no weeds, and no life.
It was heavily sprayed with gick by the previous owner.
We have three raised beds (2'x6') in the front that I grow flowers in.
I will probably wait another few years before I try growing food in the front.
The weeds only started making a comeback a couple years ago.
I love the tulips coming up in the beds though. They have wonderful "faces".
Later I'll add wildflowers, poppies, marigolds, petunias, and I have lilies and peonies coming in too.
The side yard on the South side gets really warm and the heat is sort of trapped in there.
I want to take some temp measurements this year and compare it to other parts of the yard.
I plan on using this side for tomatoes and peppers in pots. If it gets too warm, I can move them somewhere else.
The side yard on the north side is part of the fenced area in the back. It is also rock. We have a few chairs and a picnic table there.
The backyard was nothing but grass when we moved in. The soil is heavy clay with little life and lots of garbage in it.
Since moving in, we've added three raised beds (4'x8') and a compost bin.
I plan on mulching the entire grassy area around the beds this year.
I am considering planting a bunch of bulbs through the grass this fall to help with the compaction.
In a couple years I will move the raised beds in the back closer to the center of the yard and hopefully their current location and the mulched area will have better soil to plant a few fruittrees and maybe a hedge.
I am mulching the end of the yard this year too (if I can get the mulch in time), and I am going to try and plant beans and cucumbers in the soil back there since they don't like to hang out with anything else in my raised beds.
I'm thinking I'll dig a decent hole for each plant and fill the hole with composted manure and potting soil before adding the seedling.
I mulched behind the fence along the alley very very heavily with coco fibre.
Next year I plan to get raspberry canes to plant there.
Dougan Nash wrote:Sounds like you are thinking in the long term. I can't wait to see the progress as it develops. Are you going for mostly flowers, then?
I brought in soil and compost for my front beds so I could grow something in the front. Since the entire front yard was previously sprayed, I just grow flowers up there for now.
My Peonies and lilies are up now. I'll post another picture once they have bloomed. My tulips are almost finished so I'll be adding seeded flowers out there soon, as well.
The back will be almost all food (and grass for now) except for some companion flowers. I have three types of peppers and 7 types of tomatoes going to plant out or to grow in large containers.
Garlic and onions are in their bed and starting to peek out of the soil. The strawberries are showing flowers despite the odd night still dropping below freezing.
Peas, radishes, carrots, beans, cucumbers, watermelons, broccoli, and cauliflower are going in over the next couple weeks.
We are still getting the odd night below freezing so I'm waiting a week to plant even though this is the traditional gardening weekend around here.
Not sure what to do with my seed potatoes. I have some great roots growing on them from winter storage and no place to put them.
I thought about sacks but I think they would dry out too quickly in my area.
Might have to try growing them in pails.
In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out what this plant is.
Probably a weed of some kind but possibly a flower.
I recognize the plant but not sure what it is.
What is gick, and how long does it take for the soil to detoxify it? Did you research some plants that could purify the soil (you would have to throw them out though, not compost them after that, how much i understand.)
Location: AB, Canada (Zone 4a - Canadian Badlands)
Gick is just a general term for bad stuff like pesticides, herbicides and other biocides.
I have been doing some research on cleansing plants. Right now, for the locations I need it, mushrooms seem to be the best bet.
Edit: I can't edit the post with the mystery plant so I'm just going to do a little aside in this post rather than make another....
The mystery plant turned out to be California Bluebells. It seems I have a surprise California theme on the go this year because volunteer California Poppies also showed up.
Oh, I see. It is better though then lead. I read about one family, that had their entire yard excavated and new dirt brought in, because they found large amout of lead in their soil. That is faster, but I imagine very expensive way. And they had to make sure new soil is better.
Location: AB, Canada (Zone 4a - Canadian Badlands)