This time of year I start getting anxious to get out in the garden. The seed catalogs arrive in the mail with their tempting array of vegetables and herbs, making choices of what to grow very difficult. My initial list of what I want to grow always has to be pared down several times until I get to a realistic amount of what I actually have space to grow. I won’t list all varieties, but here’s what I’m growing this year. They’re mostly heirloom varieties.
Beans–Rattlesnake, Christmas Lima, Jacob’s Cattle, Provider
Cantelope–Charentais, Golden Jenny
Peppers–Ashe County Pimento, Cayenne, Anaheim, Marconi, California Wonder, Jalapeno, Aji Dulce
Tomato–Brandywine, Green Zebra, Sungold, Cherokee Purple, Roma, Amish Paste
Winter and Summer Squash
Lettuce–Bronze Arrow, Paris Island Cos, Rouge D’Hiver, Devils Tongue
In order to fit all this in and hopefully be able to sell some at a farmer’s market, we had to expand our garden. This project got underway last weekend. We’re trying a double dig system we read about in the book How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons. First we scraped off the top layer of grass and soil with the tractor and landscape box and added some compost, courtesy of our horses.
Next, we started our double-dug trenches by shoveling out a foot of dirt, then loosening another foot down with the garden fork and mixing in some compost.
When you start on the next trench, you put that dirt in the previously dug trench. The book and Youtube videos made it seem very easy, but they were not digging in wet Tennessee clay. It was backbreaking work and we only got about halfway done with one bed.
We can only work on it on weekends as my husband works full time, so this could be a pretty long, drawn-out project. But, it will get done eventually.