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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Learning and Growing with the Garden

by cousin Allen



We live on a very steep slope in urban Arlington, Virginia.  Our first year we turned the small patch of soil on the side of our patio into tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers.  The only thing that really grew were the cherry tomatoes and the cucumber.  Then last year we expanded significantly as seen in last years blog post .  Again we had a huge amount of cucumbers and pear tomatoes.  We also had great success with green beans,black berries, peppers, and broccoli.  We also had some big failures, normal tomatoes and squash of all varieties. 
 
This year we have had some big plans.  We wanted to make better use of our very limited space and we also wanted to put up a shed.  There was only one solution: Terracing.  I originally hadn't planned to start the project until April, but in February my in-laws came to town for two weeks to see the baby.  As an active busy body my father-in-law decide we should tackle this project.   
 
While I'm not done with all of work on the back hill, we now have around 500 square feet of garden space (almost 20% of our total property.  With these new planters I’m planning on planting with a modified square foot method.   In the process of buying supplies I happened to show up at Home Depot the same night that all of the winter crops came in.  As I have a habit of doing I went crazy and bought 120 onion starts, 24 broccili plants, 4 cabbages, and 20 Brussels’ sprouts.  I figure that most of these will be done when the time comes for planting the summer crops.  I've also planted 60 carrots.  So here is to a good start to the gardening season.
 
 Good luck getting everything started in your area.

7 comments:

Mommy Minded said...

This is great. We were looking at doing something like this. It looks like we may have to do buckets again. :(

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Before I moved to the country, I used to grow lots of stuff the way you are doing, people out here wouldn't believe it could be done. I had to get used to space when we moved as I kept using every inch of the big garden and didn't have to. Do you use pole beans, they grow vertical and produce a lot?

LindaG said...

Wow! Good luck with all those veggies!

Charlotte said...

Very ambitious gardener. Good luck, hope you have a great harvest.

daisy said...

Super idea with the terrace! May your bounty be great!

Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead said...

Your idea is awesome!!! A green terraces? Well good luck for your project.. God speed. I actually host a weekly gardening link up every Friday on my blog. I'd love for you to drop by and join in.

Eleanor said...

I'm about to move into a new house with a similarly sloped yard, and have been thinking of doing the same thing. I will look forward to seeing how things go for you, and how you do it.