It was cloudy and cool today and we finished up the enclosure for the pepper bed:
We already had a cover for the bed, but apparently mice or “something” got in and cleared out the left corner in the back, got almost all the morning glories and a few peppers in between.
We used the cheapo landscape lumber to frame the bed and it warped enough to allow some critters in. Since the plants were going to hit the cover soon anyway, we decided to build a mosquito screen enclosure. Hardware cloth would be much better, but this is what we had and we'll give it a try.
Covered the outside with adobe mud and of course the cover goes on top. Hopefully this does the trick.
Aside from many different peppers we also have some tomatillos, melons and Sweet Annie.
The three sisters
Yellow corn, several zucchinis, squash, beans and green onions and radishes. Just today we found one of the smaller squash cut off and laying there — didn't even eat it! Hopefully most plants are too large to get killed.
The block bed
Mostly tomatoes, lettuce leaf basil in the front and recently seeded some radishes and beets and planted a couple Sweet Annies.
The blocks cost a lot more and take more time to set level, but it's harder for critters to get in. Also, we don't know yet how we'll critter proof this bed since we can't screw lumber to the blocks. For now the protective screen is ok, but the tomatoes are growing fast.
By the bamboo fence are caged tomatillos and the lone surviving orach. Also recently planted some morning glories and melons into the cages.
Outside the cages we still have beans and an Anaheim pepper from last year, overwintered in the greenhouse.
Two more beds
Forgot to take pictures. One bed has eggplants, tomatoes, peppers and the last bed isn't quite finished yet, still have to build the frame.
The fence garden
We envisioned vines growing up on the fence, but so far that hasn't happened. Cucumbers, squash, morning glories … they all got eaten.
We didn't even remember planting corn, but it's doing well. Had a bunch of marigolds growing, but as of today only a few have survived. The green onions are being eaten rapidly, and not by us.
The thyme we transplanted from the grapes is doing great and the Sweet Annie is really taking off.
The planting hole
This is at the bottom of our place in the sandy level area where we recently started on the barbed wire fence to keep the cows out and we fenced off a small area with chicken wire to keep the rabbits out.
All our garden beds are NOT raised, but we dig out at least a foot of native soil, screen out the rocks and then add mulch and aged horse manure.
Since we have a lot more sand in the lower part of our place, we decided to try the African technique of actually growing in holes, allowing water and “stuff” to collect. While we have raised beds for salads, they definitely dry out a lot faster.
The red corn already sprouted and we're anxiously awaiting various kinds of amaranth, sorghum and even rice. A neighbor had a never-used but broken septic tank and we cut it into pieces and use it to keep track of what's planted where.
Recently we also planted some melons and it's amazing they haven't been eaten yet. Fortunately we have MANY seedlings for replacements.
Some pictures of our grey water system and building the garden.