Richard’s Fall Preparation
Each fall Richard prepares the soil in his planting areas by: heavily applying fresh leaves, heavily applying grass clippings, adding potting soil, adding Old bags of manure (Since bagged manure has no nutrients he uses this more to help break up and improve the consistency of the soil, he buys several bags the year before and holds them for a year before using them.), adding Turkey manure (Available at Home Depot), he then works these thoroughly into the existing soil.
In the spring:Richard adds another layer of grass clippings and turkey manure. He does not mix these into the soil, he leaves them on top. This year he is also going to use the black plastic to finish the planting site.
In order to preserve water, Richard will be using ½ inch soaker hoses this year for watering the mound areas. He has a sprinkler system set up through the center of the mixed planting area to water there.
Richard has two main parts to his garden; mound areas and mixed planting sites.
The mound areas are bordered by rocks or wood to hold the soil in place. The mounds are approximately eight inches to one foot deep. The larger ones have a board walkway through the center to make access easier. Richard has divided the main part of the mound garden into thirds. He rotates the crops within these thirds so that the same type of plant is only in a given area every three years. This gives the specific nutrients for specific plants time to rejuvenate before the plant is in that area again. These areas will contain tomatoes, beans, cucumbers etc. The areas that are farthest to the east and southeast are for plants that have a tendency to spread out a lot. (i.e. squash) Richard has a new area, by his wood pile, that he will be planting potatoes in this year.
Mixed Planting Area:
Just to the south of the garden area is a mixed planting site. It contains fruit trees, Walla Walla onions, regular yellow onions, day lilies and gladiolas. There are some boxed planting areas that will contain peppers and peas.
Richard has several containers that he uses to make compost to use on the garden. These are old garbage cans that he has gotten from Enoch City. He cuts them in two, keeping them 3 to 4 feet high, and then uses the top part with the lid for his container. This way there is no bottom to retain moisture in the compost. (He wants it dry) Throughout the summer he layers his lawn clippings, old turkey manure, year old leaves, and old bagged manure. He mixes them together. No water is added. This is transferred to the mound or planting areas as needed.If you check with Enoch City they may have some old garbage cans you can get from them.
Overall Garden View
To view a larger image click on the picture.
When Richard first planted his tomatoes, the plants were getting too hot and burning. He fashioned shade for them by cutting plastic planting pots into two pieces and attaching them to stakes. He then placed these in the ground where the pot would shade his plants to protect them. He said they also stack easily for storage when the plants are bigger and the shade is no longer needed.
Richard is using standard tomato cages except he puts them upside down and anchors them at the ground with large nails which are driven 12″ into the soil. When he puts them in the ground the way they were intended, he had too many problems with them becoming top heavy and pushing over the cage. By doing it his way it gives a strong base and the nails hold it securely. It also gives you an area to prop it up, If needed.
He trims the tops of his tomato plants around the end of July or the first of August. He learned that any areas that have no fruit, or only blossoms, will not be able to fully develop fruit by the middle of September. By cutting off this excess growth it makes the strength go into the existing fruits to make them become better.
Zucchini and Squash
Onions and Peppers
Potatoes, Beans and Beets