When we purchased this house a year and a half ago I was so excited to have a nice spot for my garden. Little did I know just how overgrown this 24 x 12 foot plot of land was. Okay, yes it looks overgrown but I assumed it would be a quick clean up job. I later found out that this garden hadn't been used in many, many years and it took weeks to pull out the bushes, grass, weeds, and rocks. A garden was planted in a hurry so that I could make the most out of the upstate New York growing season. It was not my best harvest and this year I was determined to make the most out of my garden.
This picture is post winter frost and mid build of the lattice border. When raking leaves during the fall season we threw some into the soil for composting along with fertilizer pebbles. The soil was healthy and dark when it came to tilling.
In April, seeds were planted indoors and the process of tearing up the old wood lining the bed began. The lattice that you see now is not only for aesthetics but also to keep our three dogs from getting inside and digging everything up.
Early May I tilled the dirt and mixed in twelve 2 cubic ft. bags of fertilized dirt. Eggs shells and used coffee grounds will also be mixed into the soil for more nutrients and keeping pests away. The foil pan seen in the photo is one of many that we used to start our seeds in. They can be purchased at the dollar store with lids and by cutting holes in the top make a wonderful early greenhouse. They are also cheap and can be saved for next year.
You might wonder why I have so many bottles in the garden? Well, May weather in New York keeps you on your toes. It can be 90 one day and the next day we get sleet and have a week of frosty nights. Today is Memorial Day and this is precisely what happened the past week. The bottles are mini greenhouses to protect from frost and also increase growing time for my baby plants. Using a utility knife, cut of the bottoms of the bottles and work them into the soil around the vegetation. You can increase warmth by mounding the soil around the sides of the bottle. Also, save the caps which can be screwed on at night to offer further protection. After a week of unpredictable weather, my plants look healthy and are growing beautifully! I will probably leave the bottles on for another week or two until the plants either outgrow their tiny homes or the weather gets too hot.