And, 3 years later...

tishtoshnm Zone 6/NMMay 2, 2012

All beds are done. Not all are double dug yet but all have been outlined with rock. When we finally decided upon this spot for the potager, we went with rocks for lining new beds due to cost factors. Most rocks were harvested by going up the hill behind our house with the wheelbarrow and collecting them. Or, any time I took a walk, my policy was to always bring a rock down with me. There have been set backs. The first year progress was halted when my then 9-year-old was diagnosed with diabetes. Then last year, we discovered too late that the horse manuer we amended with was contaminated with an herbicide. The deer also found us. But now everything is in its place and I can focus on the plants and soil more. As you can tell in the pictures, there is a lot of work to be done, grass to be pulled and things to be put away. But, here are the pictures of my potager:

The walk leading up to the entrance.

A sitting area under the juniper tree.

The view down the long axis.

The center bed.

I hope to make the area behind the tree a secret garden/get-away.

These three round beds were an extension. We wanted round to balance out all of the rectangular beds.

The four beds that frame the center are shaped like this.

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What an incredible project you have done. It is a beautiful layout, and must have been so much hard work to accomplish.

Thank you for sharing all your pictures, they are an inspiration.

All best wishes for your son's health -


    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 7:07AM
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valree3(Nv zone 4)

WOW! Wonderful layout! Your garden beds are going to be awesome when you have them planted! The time and energy it took you to create your garden was definetly worth it. What do you have planted in your walls of water? Keep posting pics throughout the growing season, I cant wait to see them! Valree

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 5:38PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

NICE! I have gophers, so have to have my vege gardens raised with wire.
Looking at these for non-vege gardens, though! Thanks! Nancy

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:22PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Macgregor--Thank you. I have certainly referred to the pictures of your garden more than once for inspiration.

Valree--I have tomatoes and eggplants in the WOW. I am experimenting to see if they are worth it. Right now I think they are for the cherry tomatoes but may be less worth it for paste tomatoes. Thank you for your kind words.

Nancyjane--We did have gophers. The neighbors cat takes care of them on one side of the fence and on my property we usually use bait. Still, when double digging the beds, we have used wire for perennial things like asparagus. I have a rugosa rosa in this garden area that is in a wire cage and anything else perennial (like the berry vines I will purchase) will be placed in wire cages as well. However, the gophers tend to be more active on the other side of the house too. Soon, we may be electrifying the fence for the deer.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 12:11AM
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What a beautiful potager! I can imagine how much hard work went into that, but the end result is very impressive. The stone is especially nice and is permanent too. I can't wait to see your potager in a couple of months when it is overflowing with bounty! :)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 10:09AM
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How did you get rid of the herbicide? I don't have it, but have wondered what I'd do if it came in the straw or manures I get for the garden here. Our few chickens, ducks, and rabbits we have nowadays don't produce enough for our big garden areas, so I add other manures when I can get them from a few sources I have used over the years. I always ask about what they're feeding to try to avoid the herbicides.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 3:23PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Corrine, It will leach out eventually and it can break down but just takes time. I do not grow the sensitive crops in those beds yet. I put some worms into the beds from my worm bins so that they can hopefully help process it quicker. I also keep adding more compost and I try to water it as much as feasible. I think the dryness of my climate probably makes it more difficult for it to break down.

Now before putting manure on from an outside source I test it. I had a big pile of horse manure sitting around from the neighbors and before using it I mixed it with potting soil and grew peas to see if they were affected. They grew fine so I knew it was safe. Also, because of my low rainfall, my plan is to only apply heavy amounts of manure every 3 years to prevent salts from building up. The chicken stuff will of course get mixed into the regular compost, but this year I only have 4 chicks so I do not anticipate an abundance for a while.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 6:25PM
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