Now, that I've talked about the irrigation plan, I have a few more pieces I wanted to explain about the garden. This is my plan for beds, walk-ways, plants, fertilizing and tilling.
Beds & Walk-ways
The three main walk-ways are five feet wide and all lead to the back gate. The secondary paths are only three feet wide. Each bed is also outlined with wood right now as I talked about in my master plan. I plan to keep things this way and eventually the wood will be covered by building the compost and mulch inside the bed and tree mulch as the walk ways. I decided raised beds are too much work.
One of my goals is to grow at least 250 different annual and perennial plants that will be ripening at different times of the year. This might be an overwhelming number, but diversity is part of the success. I want to accomplish this goal in 3 years.
I also want to focus on a perennial based edible garden. This won't be accomplished all at once either. I want to get all of the trees in the ground first, and then get a few perennials established. After sheet mulching, I'm going to cover crop all of the beds, so I can plant out each bed as my budget and I are ready.
Along with the edibles, I'll also grow the non edibles. These are the support species that help the edibles. They will be a living mulch (and harvested mulch), pollen for the bees, fertilizers, structures, and insect and bird habitat.
No commercial fertilizers will be used. I will use green manure, nitrogen fixing shrubs and trees, a compost worm bin, compost bins, compost teas, adding additional minerals to the soil and mulch like it's going out of style. I talked about some of these in a few goals last year, but they are second nature now.
Other plant species like comfrey that has a deep tap root will pull minerals from deep in the ground. This plant is typically harvested and laid under the nearest fruit tree. Pretty lazy right?
No soil will be tilled. How often do you see a lush forest tilled? If any tilling is done, it will be a one time occurrence. I heard once that you should treat your garden beds like it's a big compost worm bin where the worms till the soil. That's the kind of lazy I'm on board with!
That's pretty much the jest of the plan. And my most favorite of favorites of this plan? NO MOWING! Of course I'll have to mow the front yard and alley, but that's easy. It's officially the coolest thing about my edible garden. I've been making good progress in the garden, so a progress report is in the works.
Labels: Forest Garden Planning