- Gardening year: 2012
- Location: Smyrna, Georgia
- Planting By Color: Red
I’m Kati, from Smyrna, GA…just outside Atlanta. We live in a subdivision, relatively suburban, but are only 15 minutes from downtown or the airport.
We are under the Red color group for our summer garden. 2012 starts our second year with a family garden. Part of our back yard is a steep hill which backs up to the community property line. The space was totally unusable (with the exception of my sons bug hunts and “safari” expeditions.) We decided to have garden boxes put in to utilize the space.
Last year, we started with 4 boxes; two 4×10 ft and two 4×14 foot.
We were able to fit more but I told my husband I wanted to be able to manage these four before over-committing ourselves. We had a great first season…many lessons learned but much bounty to enjoy as well. We started most of our plants indoors in soil blocks under grow lights.
The boxes were filled with regular soil but we nourished it with compost. We use bokashi and effective microorganisms to create our compost through an anaerobic method. (We learned this from a friend who teaches sustainable agriculture in the Philippines (http://www.alohahouse.org). Basically, it ferments our kitchen waste in about 2 weeks time in sealed buckets and we then bury it in the garden for another 2-3 weeks while it breaks down into the soil. The results are beautiful!!!
This winter, we took the plunge and added 4 additional boxes, same sizes.
The hill is divided with wooden steps going down the middle and four boxes on each side. We are continuing to bury our compost to begin nourishing the soil in the new boxes.
The challenge I am faced with is how to manage all of this space and have a harvest from spring through fall. Last year we planted everything at the same time, therefore limiting our window of opportunity. I’d like to better maximize the growing season this year. (Then I need to learn more about canning and preserving!).
I’ve attached my spreadsheet of the boxes, color coded for your viewing pleasure. Click to see it larger.
A few points:
- I attempted to create a succession plan…however, I’m still a little unclear as to whether or not I’ve done this as effectively as possible.
- I have not planted potatoes in the past so was unsure as to how invasive they would be underground.
- Likewise, I was curious as to the herbs. I planted parsley last year that is still growing strong. If I create an herb box, is it necessary to rotate that when I rotate the other crops each year?
- Lastly, but very important….if you notice, our hill is right next to large trees which are covered in kudzu during the heat of the summer. As a result, we have been battling kudzu bugs!!! I am avoiding any legumes b/c kudzu bugs are said to feed on them. Last year they did not invade my garden until the fall when they hung out on the leaves of my pepper plants. They didn’t eat them, were just a nuisance. I’d love any insight anyone may have as to keeping this “pests” from sabotaging my efforts.
Your site has been incredibly helpful in my planning!! Thank you SO much! Any thoughts or insights you have, I’m open for suggestions.