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Adventures in Urban Homesteading

Diary of New Garden: Part 2

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(Part 1 of this series showed the transition from sod-covered yard to fertilized garden beds.)

Unfortunately our garden’s watering system needed repairs and they weren’t completed until the end of May. So, the planting happened a little later than I would have liked, but hopefully we’ll still get a good amount of food from the garden before the first frost. Better late than never!

The first task was to dig up and move all of the perennial fruit from the old garden. Since we were only moving a mile and a half away, I wasn’t leaving any of those great plants behind! We had 6 dwarf fruit trees (only in the ground for about 18 months, so still move-able), lots of strawberry plants, raspberry cane, blackberry brambles, and rhubarb.


The car all loaded up with fruit plants. Quite the haul!



It’s always more fun to plant with a helper. The six dwarf fruit trees were planted along our front walkway (3 on each side).

This is the perennial fruit bed, although it doesn’t look like much now. The rhubarb plants transplanted well and the raspberries and blackberries did ok, but the strawberries didn’t like the hot weather and had a tough time. I’m still holding out hope that the strawberry roots will take hold, and more of the plants will flourish next year. I also added some ground cherry seedlings to the bed.


(Hopefully) soon to be bursting with fruit!

The new house has a beautiful, well-established concord grapevine along the back fence. We added 5 new vines of new grape varieties that will (eventually) trellis along the south fence in our front garden.


Grapevines growing nicely.

The garden has 110 tomato seedlings. They’re planted in two beds — one in the north garden and one in the east garden. Each bed had two trenches (2 feet apart), and then the seedlings were planted in the trenches 2 feet apart. The seedlings are laid down in the trenches and the stems are gently bent so that just the top crown of leaves are above the soil line. This allows a strong root system to branch out from the buried tomato stem.

Tomato planting-1

Spacing out the seedlings in the trenches.



Planted tomato seedlings in the north garden. They’re buried pretty deep and almost hard to see in this picture, but the large root systems they’re forming will cause the plants to grow quickly and strongly.



Tomato bed in the east garden.


I planted several small-fruited winter squashes (buttercup, delicata, sweet dumpling, acorn) along either side of the front path, so they could vine and make a pretty groundcover underneath the fruit trees.

The front yard garden at our old house had a round, clover-filled space that was our daughter’s “tea garden.” I wanted to create something similar in this garden, and decided to put all of the perennial herbs around the tea garden.


Rosemary, bay leaf, sage, thyme, oregano, lemongrass, tarragon, and curry are planted in the bordering herb garden.



Looking forward to tea parties once the clover grows in!



Little pepper plants (sweet and hot).






Not much to look at now, but the bed is seeded with beans, edamame, parsley, cilantro, and 4 types of basil.



The front strip of each garden has been seeded with edible flowers — chamomile, calendula, and marigold.


Ela Planting

Garden buddies.

The garden also has turnips, carrots, a bed of salad greens (lettuces, arugula, rocket, and endive), and asparagus.

Now that the seeds and seedlings are planted, it’s time to tackle all of the late spring weeds! And there are soooo many weeds…





Lots and LOTS of bindweed. Looking forward to getting some bindweed mites to lend a hand.

And the worst of all…


…the grass. Even though the sod was removed with a sod cutter, the grass is returning with a vengeance. It has a root system that just won’t quit. But we will not be deterred!

Part 3 of this series is coming soon — plants big enough to see in photos (imagine that!), significantly less weeds and grass, and installation of the tomato trellises. Stay tuned!

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