Insert ominous music here….
So, last year I ran out of things to do outside in my yard. Very depressing. Of course that means this year I must have grand plans that may not be attainable. The lot across the street is one that will test my resolve. If I can do the 16 beds, I should be able to grow a complete potato heavy diet for four. I also need to dig a bed or two for my nice neighbors to garden in as well. They have no sun thanks to a gorgeous linden tree that occupies the whole of their tiny back yard and a strange deck built by an obnoxious bohunk previous owner that overlooks my six foot privacy fence. Fortunately since the bohunk abandoned the city for renecky parts unknown I have had awesome neighbors in that house and don’t mind the deck anymore.
Anyway a refresher on the lot (from another angle because I know you can’t remember from my blog entry I made an hour ago, lol). So, I have some reservations about working over here. As I said before, there used to be multifamily structures over here. Those structures almost certainly had basements. All the houses in my neighborhood have basements. There are two holes about where I am standing to take this picture that the neighbor has been throwing sod into. I will continue to throw sod. What concerns me more is the sunken area at
the back. Fortunately I have no intention of building anything and I don’t think I will fall into the ground, but the difference in rain runoff and weight might affect the lay of the land and cause me some problems. Right now the sunken area is limited to a spot in the back which is easy enough to deal with. I need a good rainstorm though to see how the water in this area works.
My Mad Plan
So I have mad cad skills and decided one night to work out the garden plan in cad. Pretty easy to do actually. They lack a polished look and have spelling errors I have to admit. Across the street is heavily based on the four family garden from How to Grow More Vegetables buy it, it’s awesome. I think there is a new version than the one on that link however. Go visit the Ecology Action people they are the same folks and have years of experience with biointensive gardening.
So the mad plan is based on my wish list worked into 4 x 20 foot beds. After laying things out across the street, I have found that up to four more can be put in. I left one for the neighbors but really they could have up to five. Two I would be hesitant to put in until we understand the underground nutso stuff going on over there. I have to guess that the sinkhole is part of a basement that wasn’t bulldozed full. The rest of the basements should still be under there. I may check city hall for old building specs for that site. Theoretically this will also impact drainage on the site, should be a fun year. Until recently my side yard leaked oddly into my basement, but I think whatever the passageway was has filled in with sediment at this point. That garden is also on an old building site.
Another note should be that I plan to freeze, can, and root cellar much of the harvest. There are ways to plant to extend harvesting and some of that will happen, but mainly it works better for my brain to have things ripen at the same time. I’m not market gardening which also impacts how to plan.
This does not negate my need to use other sites for gardening. Winter Squash, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, and Gourds cannot be grown in more than one variety within half a mile of each other or they will cross pollinate. I have three other yards I will be placing varieties of those in this summer as well. (Also, after the Thai Bottle Gourd fiasco, I’m not really allowed to have gourds in the side yard again, lol. I don’t recommend Thai Bottle Gourds for urban gardening.) Probably also grow some other herbs and peppers there as well. I think peppers just need 10 feet, but the ant population on my lot make peppers difficult to grow. I had much better luck last year. Previous years have had too much insect damage.