Fall 2014 Gardening Projects


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Much of the expansion work that goes into my garden begins in the Fall season. During the Spring and Summer I am not focused on expanding the garden because I am growing food at that time. In the Fall and Winter I am usually growing a small lettuce or kale garden but I can still work around it.

For now I am expanding the garden by including new Fruit trees; mulching all the Fruit trees; cleaning up ivy around the property line; making raised beds with logs; and constructing Hugelkultur beds.





I'll begin by talking about the Fruit trees I transplanted yesterday. A native fruit to Kentucky, the Paw paw, can be found growing in damp, shady locations of wooded areas. My grandparent's have a small grove of Paw paws (over 100) in their woods. The trees have not started to fruit, either because they need a pollinator of a different variety of Paw paw, or they are still too young. Luckily, I (think) I have found a Paw paw grove in the woods behind my house. So I have transplanted 5 (young) Paw paw trees on my property, and soon I will transplant several Paw paws from my grandparent's woods. Hopefully because I transplanted young trees and because I will be planting two different varieties, the trees will grow quickly in the Full sun and produce fruit within the next couple of years.



Paw paw transplant


This may be 1 of the 5 Paw paws that survive transplant

As stated I have already begun to clean up the bank for transplanting Paw Paw trees. I intend to transplant additional Nut and Fruit trees along the edge of the property line. Because we have woods connected to our yard, along the edge becomes a wily mess of entanglement. I want to clean up the 3/4 of an acre, add mulch, cardboard and rock to dedicate space for growing more varieties of Fruits.

Secondly, I am practicing Hugelkultur methods within my first garden; and also making Hugelkultur raised beds in other locations of the yard. Hugelkultur, German word meaning mound culture or hill culture, where decaying wood debris and other compostable biomass plant materials are added to composting raised beds. For an explanation and example of Hugelkultur, watch this video by Paul Wheaton, here.

I'll continue to update you on the progress of the Hugel beds. As you can see in the photos below, the beds of logs, sticks, and leaves are the first phases. Eventually, additional compost, leaves, and other mulching material will be added to make nutrient-dense soil for planting.



Phase 1 of Hugel bed 1


Phase 1 of Hugel bed 2




Phase 2 of Hugel bed 2

I am also using the Hugelkultur methods within the garden. See below in the photos how in between rows, I have layered the bottom with large logs then small sticks and leaves at the top. Eventually these beds will have compost and additional leaves/mulching material which will break down over winter. The Logs and sticks act as a sponge absorbing moisture while the leaves trap heat which combined create an environment for healthy food production.









From the Pine trees (you see of the background in the photo below) I have collected Pine needles to use as mulch, which I have used on the 7 blueberry bushes you see in the photo.


Pine needles as mulch around blueberry bush

I have also mulched the Fruit trees with pine needles, including the Pears, Peach, Plum, Strawberry beds, Cheery trees, Fig trees, and Grape vines.



In the photo: Pears, Plum, Cherry, Figs, and Grape vines


Peach tree mulched with pine needles

Additionally, I have been hauling pieces of logs from the woods to create raised beds. Below you can see I have completed two beds framed with dead logs. I have already started on a third raised bed. It took me several days to scope out pieces of logs in the woods, compile them, then haul them down the hill to my house. In the photo below are the two completed raised beds, and in the upper right corner, you can see the four of the five Paw Paw trees transplanted.




As the Fall season progresses into Winter, I will continually add Pine needles to mulch the Fruit trees, fruit bushes, especially the newly transplanted Paw Paw trees. Once all the leaves have fallen off the trees, I will use them to mulch my garden.

Perhaps I will have to resort to collecting leaves from the woods if I run out of leaves to rake around my yard! I'll also still collect logs and branches from the woods to use in the Hugelkultur mounds.

Of course other gardening tasks will keep me busy, such as cleaning up the property line of brush, ivy, over grown weeds. This will be a process over Winter which will include laying out plastic or cardboard along the property line, then adding rocks and mulching to create a presentable-look. Then I will plan to begin transplanting Nut and Fruit trees within these areas. As if all these projects were enough to keep a woman busy for months, I have also started on digging the Trench for our Cob home, which you can see in this video: Digging outline for Cob home trench.

For FULL POST (& ALL PHOTOS), go to Fall 2014 Gardening Projects


-Cassie K, Vegans Living Off the Land
 
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Wow, Casie! That was a very long and informative post! I can see you got a lot in your hands right now :) Best of luck with this projects of yours, I hope it's very successful! It really sounds like a lot work :) Btw, I love your idea of using the pine needles that way!
 
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That's quite the project you have. I have such a little yard that for me, it's just going to be a matter of cleaning up the dead leaves and letting things rest until spring. Nothing is going to do much more growing now, so I just need to keep it looking relatively tidy.
 
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This sounds great!:D You put a lot of work into your garden! I wish I could say the same about myself, but the truth is that I don't do anything special during fall. My only project is to move all my miniature roses to a colder room and to start growing an indoor plant that bloms in winter:)
 
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Thank you for a very interesting article with loads of information. Having had a tree removed and the stump ground up which I used as a base for my compost pile I have seen first hand the wonderful compost that comes out of it.

I am not expanding anything in my garden this year as I only have 2 years left to grow, and possibly on one to harvest, at that location. Going to spend the cold winter days planning what I want to do at my new home in a few years ago.

I have one question for you. What do Paw Paws taste like?
 
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Thank you for a very interesting article with loads of information. Having had a tree removed and the stump ground up which I used as a base for my compost pile I have seen first hand the wonderful compost that comes out of it.

I am not expanding anything in my garden this year as I only have 2 years left to grow, and possibly on one to harvest, at that location. Going to spend the cold winter days planning what I want to do at my new home in a few years ago.

I have one question for you. What do Paw Paws taste like?
Meowmie, people tell me that paw paws taste like custard or a creamy banana-mango flavor. You don't see paw paws in the grocery store, and rarely do you see a grove in the woods of fruiting paw paws, so I have not personally tasted paw paws, which is why I am growing them.
 
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Lucky you! I have to work on a hen house and chicken yard this fall/winter because the snow has already started here and its way to cold and windy right now to work on a garden. We are going to be working next spring though on a hydroponics green house with a friend to see how it comes out.
 
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Meowmie, people tell me that paw paws taste like custard or a creamy banana-mango flavor. You don't see paw paws in the grocery store, and rarely do you see a grove in the woods of fruiting paw paws, so I have not personally tasted paw paws, which is why I am growing them.
I am looking forward to your review after you have grown and tasted them. They sound heavenly. I suspect the don't travel very well or we would see them in the stores.
 

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