Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Battle for the Kitchen Window Landscape Bed

Saturday afternoon after I returned the pack to the house I decided to investigate the local garden centers for edible landscape plants.  The local garden centers keep stock that meets Baton Rouge's Zone 8B climate needs such as orchard trees with minimal chill hour requirements and vegetable varieties for our very hot and humid summers.  For those of you who live up farther north, please note the BTR weather box in the blog sidebar.  As I write this it is 78 degrees F at 9:30 PM at night.

My nursery tour shopping trip netted me 2 Nachez upright thornless blackberries on clearance at Lowe's.  I then bought another upright thornless variety for a pollinator.  I also brought home several transplants 1 Swiss chard, 2 eggplants, 2 cantaloupes, and 3 Spanish peanuts.  (No tomatoes since multiple tomatoes a week in my diet is too much acid for me).  I decided to try the peanuts in potato growing tubs that I found on clearance.  I'll mix up some sandy soil for the peanuts to grow in.  There were huge blueberry bushes at one nursery for only $15 each ... large enough that Troy won't accidentally trim them with his huge mower if I make a blueberry hedge to provide a visual break along the back fence.

Since the water faucet at the rear of the lot is still broken I decided I needed to work on using bedding space closer to working  faucets since I'm not sure I have enough hose otherwise.  During the next few months I will build beds and fix the faucet in time for the upcoming fall weather gardening season.  Sunday I took stock of the yard, watched the shade pattern on the east side of the house, and came up with a game plan for the short term.  The end of the kitchen bed nearest the garage gets good morning sun.
The eastern side of the house at time of purchase.  Kitchen is to the left of the garage.  Note overgrown beds.

By sundown I had found the first several feet of the kitchen window bed
By Sunday evening I had removed the weird variety of shrubs in the kitchen window bed.  For now I left the liriope and camillia bush.  The camillia has a large root twisted around the trunk so I'm not sure how healthy it will be in the longer term.  I raked up leaves and hoed out the weeds.  The bed is ready for some top dressing to be worked in and mulch. prior to planting.  This growing season I will try the blackberries and strawberries in this bed.  They will be getting minimal "full" sun exposure but they will not be broiled by the afternoon sun.

Next I moved into the back yard near the RV port (currently storing agility equipment).  I moved the agility equipment off the concrete apron and raked up the leaves in this corner of the yard, and replaced the equipment.  Then I trimmed the overgrown azalea bushes and dug up several bamboo roots that had come under the fence from Doc Sanders' yard.  Finally I moved my planted rainbow Swiss chard and eggplants to this area.  It may be too hot already for the chard but I'm hoping to get a salad or two out of it before it bolts.  The chard is located so it gets late afternoon shade.  I'll add the peanuts bags to this area as well.

temporary garden location
The next task will be to tackle the bed that will become the kitchen cutting garden.  See photo below for current status.  The bed needs a total dig up and removal.  The easiest way to smother weed seeds may be lasagna layering during the hot summer.  I'm just not sure what to do with the amaryllis bulbs in the bed.... maybe move them to the front yard on the corner circle? place them back in the bed between the herbs?

bed to the right of the garage - designated for kitchen herb garden