setting uop a new garden

Fox Pines New Garden gets started

We spent last weekend moving our garden to a location a bit closer to the house, in a location with more sun.  I wanted to get the perennial plants – rhubarb, asparagus, small blueberry bushes – in the new location early enough this year to get them established before a North Country Winter.  I hadn’t planned to really get many vegetables in this year.

We also put a fence up…not very tall about 4 feet, but enough to discourage the deer in our area.  They never jump over the 4 foot fence into the yard unless the snow is quite deep, and they can almost walk over it.  This fence is welded mesh, rather than the stockyard fence of the backyard, and we found it a bit more difficult to work with.  The welded wire doesn’t have the give and movement of the stockyard fence.  It does, though, have smaller mesh about 2 x 4″ rather than 6 or 8″ squares.  This should help keep out any stray snowshoe rabbits that may show up in winter.  Groundhogs we do not have (and they would just tunnel under anything anyway),maybe an occasional skunk.  I’m waiting to see how well it works.

Our soil is very sandy, to the point that we never even hit a rock.  I think we found one on the property once , about the size of a basketball, during some construction.  Digging the holes relatively easy, taking about 2 minutes each!  Posts are sunk 2 feet deep. Unlike our home in NJ, where we have all shale and rock a few inches down.  The soil itself is quite acidic, due to all the pine trees, and we supplemented with some lime to keep it from being less than 5.5-6 pH.    It seems to be working – read on!

The gates are mounted a bit high, because we wanted to be able to open them even with snow.  I will probably have to block off underneath them with a 6x 6″  partially buried post to make the gap small enough to be a deterrent.

I planted some potatoes (red, russet and purple) and onion sets early last month,  just to see how they would do in the new location, not planning to do a full on garden here this year.  The potatoes are about 2 feet high, growing well enough to hill up and add grass clippings around.  The onions are growing better than any others I ever planted.  A row of gladiolas (my grandmothers favorite flower, she always had a row in the garden!) have leaves sticking straight up, while I wait for the flower heads to develop.  Can’t wait to see how many different colors bloom!  The only thing that didn’t start well was the sweet corn.

rows of potatoes and onions

new potatoes and onion sets growing

Blueberries love the area, and many times I have gathered the small wild berries, what my mother would call huckleberries, off the low growth.  The bushes I have started are only a foot tall now, but will become tall bushes, and are supposed to handle the regional cold.  Along with some of the rhubarb from the farm I grew up on, I have added a few new varieties, and all seem to like the area as well.  Good think, I love my rhubarb.

nre rhubard plants

young rhubarb plants

Next year I will have a garden plan mapped out early for each type of vegetable in my garden book.  This year I am happy to work the soil, try these few plants to see how they do, and work some mulch and grass clippings in to amend the dirt.

I think Horseradish next… tomatoes, of course (lots of tomatoes)…. carrots, radishes should love the sandy soil…parsnips….and so my dreams go.

What are your favorite fruit & vegetable perennials?  What would you do different in your own garden?