• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Dan Boone
gardeners:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
  • Mike Barkley

(Re)establishing garden beds

  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello! I am a long-time lover of the permaculture ethos, and just this year was able to get a place and start doing some stuff! One of the great things about our home is it came with an already fenced-off garden area, which is great because we have tons of deer and rabbits. I'm not too sure about the native soil, and I don't know much in general, but I think the neighbor said it is like a clay but that it also absorbs water like crazy...

So the garden area came with raised beds, although nothing has been grown there in years since it is a remnant from the owner before the previous owners and the whole area was covered in grass and garbage. I got the area cleaned out and put down cardboard to kill the grass and started covering that with some wood chips, cut grass, and chop and drop leaves and twigs and such. The move itself and the house took up a lot of time and energy, so we weren't able to do much with the garden although once the cardboard and mulch were down we stuck some plants in there. Not surprisingly, they didn't do much, but we did get some kale, tomatoes... the raspberries and blackberries were already established so they were the most productive... some squash did grow but not a ton and pretty small fruits, and the slugs or whatever got most of those, and the pests did a real number on the cabbage. I stuck some potatoes in the ground and onions and they were eaten and rotten before producing anything. There is a well-established tree (pear we were told) that did not bear any fruit, which dropped a ton of leaves all over everything.

So my question is, how can I best tend the soil from here out, and especially if there are things I can be doing this winter to get it to its best by the Spring? Our city actually provides free finished compost, so one idea was to periodically pick up a truck load and start layering it on, but would that mess up what is going on with the mulch and leaves that are already there? We also have our own compost pile going. I have been collecting charcoal from the wood stove to get some biochar going and I'm thinking I should just be putting some in the compost pile to inoculate it by the Spring, or I could also just layer that on? There are both worms and fungi everywhere all over the yard so I'm sure they are already well on their way under that mulch layer.

Any input would be much appreciated!

Thanks!
 
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
244
forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Often garden information is region specific,  so it can help to know generally where the garden is.  As an example, most of my area has alkaline soils.

But for a great education on overall soil health, and how you can optimize it; look at the top of the soil forum. Just below the word soil and above the lost of topics is a link to a series of essays that cover just about every question I have ever had.
 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
244
forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Often garden information is region specific,  so it can help to know generally where the garden is.  As an example, most of my area has alkaline soils.

But for a great education on overall soil health, and how you can optimize it; look at the top of the soil forum. Just below the word soil and above the lost of topics is a link to a series of essays that cover just about every question I have ever had.
 
Nathanael Armstrong
Posts: 5
forest garden fungi homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm in the Pacific Northwest if that helps
 
pollinator
Posts: 2389
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
126
forest garden solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
PNW are we talking zone 8 winter temp.
Mid May- mid Sept a total of 2inches of rain
Rest of the year (Oct-May) a total of 40 inch of rain.
Cloudy/Misty except for the summer (may-sept)

For Garden Beds I like doing stuff the bio-intensive way.
24inch of soil, it could be raised beds or double till
Top 3 inches topped off with compost.
And compost added after every harvest/season.

It could be modified with some water holding/wicking logs at the bottom of it.


So short answer start making compost. Collecting stuff for compost.
You can also do woodchip and grow wine cap mushroom and oyster too I think.  

 
Story like this gets better after being told a few times. Or maybe it's just a tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!