In 2021 I am starting my 3rd family garden in our new backyard. When I started this website in 2011 I had just started my second family garden in the backyard of our old house. What can I say, I enjoy starting new gardens. With each garden I make improvements on my processes and techniques in an attempt to grow as much food as possible with the least amount of effort (in a gardening sense).
Our old garden was approximately 288 sq. ft., which does not sound like a lot of space but through succession planting and season extenders, we were able to harvest a large amount of food for our family of four. With the limited amount of space there were some crops like potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn that we could not grow. During our last growing season (2018-2019) with this garden we were able to harvest food every month of the year, not too bad for zone 6b.
The new garden is our largest yet at 1904 sq. ft. or 34’ x 56’. As like most things, this new garden will have its positives and negatives. With a larger amount of space we will be able to grow crops that we were unable to grow in our small garden. We will also be able to grow more food to cover more of our family’s needs. One of the new challenges with this garden is trying to keep the deer and other wildlife out of it. All of our gardens before were on properties in our small town. Now, we have moved outside of town to the country for more space (aka. land) for growing and we need to deal with more wildlife. The other challenge of this new garden are the “Rocks!” Enough said about that! If you have not had to deal with rocks consider yourself lucky. It took me three gardens to really see this problem. So for all the new problems we will need to find new solutions. It’s just all part of the process.
The new garden has 15 rows that are 30” wide, with 14” between rows. I have split the 34’ long rows in half for planting. Each row is broken down into an “A” side and a “B” side. Each side is 17’ long. The garden is south facing on a slight hill, which should be perfect.
Like before, our goal is to harvest food year round from our backyard garden, this new adventure is just on a larger scale than before. I hope you enjoy reading about our challenges and rewards from this new garden…..