My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, ... thank you!

Planning Ahead for Next Year's Garden

As you know, our soil here is horrible: sandy loam is what it's officially called. Sand on top of sand, with cactus and weeds and the occasional blade of crabgrass. Nothing we planted directly into the ground this year (even with soil amending and lots of potting soil) survived.

This next Spring will be different. We've bought wood to make 4'x8' raised garden beds. We also have pots and plastic kiddie pools and tires. Everywhere we want to plant a tree or bush, we're digging a $100 hole for a $5 tree, and using lots of alpaca and chicken and goat poo to amend the soil deep down. We're moving the chickens and goats around, letting them free range as much as possible.

In the next few weeks, we'll start building the raised garden beds. Inside of the dog run (backyard), we'll make several sections of raised beds, which will hold the 3-Sisters garden (corn, beans, squash) and what I'm calling the 3-Cousins (mammoth sunflowers, vining cucumbers, and melons). As soon as the first raised bed is in place, I'm layering cardboard (from old moving boxes), then a layer of goat-pen stuff (hay with goat poo), then polymer for water retention, then newspapers, more goat-poo, potting soil, newspapers, and more goat poo (or chicken poo).

That's called lasagna gardening.

Then we'll build the next raised bed, put it in place, and fill it like above. We're hoping by mid-January, we'll have all of the garden beds in place and percolating!

Because by February, we're going to need to concentrate on building the kidding pens for our goats in the workshop. Hopefully we'll have goat babies by March!

What are YOU doing to get ready for next year's garden?

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