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I think my garden is all wrong: advice please

Posted by jgourlay Houston West (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 8, 09 at 10:56

Folks, I'd like some advice on a project that may have gone wrong. I contract with a landscaper to build a raised bed garden for me. He was supposed to start work on a Saturday when I returned from a business trip. Apparently he started work during the week while I was gone. During the process, my the love of my life who was home consulted with him on the details to "make it come out right", paid him, and now it's "done". I also think there was a language problem. Please help me figure out of it's done as in "good, it's done!" or "done" as in "put a fork in it".

First, I asked him to build a LOOSE rock wall 18" high and fill with good garden soil. What I got was a rock wall 6" high, cemented in place. It's beautifully done and will last forever. It's also probably watertight. He did put in good soil and took the liberty of digging down a foot. So have a good 14-18" depth of good garden soil. However, my backyard, into which this was excavated, is hard heavy black clay. this going to drain, or do I now have a mud-bath-and-spa?

Second...location location location. Apparently the location was changed at the last moment to accommodate some conception of how it "ought to look". Because of trees et. al. I will still get full sun, but not until the arc of the sun is almost directly vertical. Until then, my neighbors tree's, fence, and bamboo will cast shadows through most of the morning and into the afternoon. Once the sun get's about 45 degrees into the west, then my trees will cast shadows. For example, I have fair to good right now (10 am 10 feb) but only because all the trees have no foliage. If all the trees were foliated, it would be in total shade because the arc of the sun is too far south.

So, will the arc of the sun be near vertical during good growing season, or does that not happen until it's too hot for anything edible to fruit out? Note that my primary intention for this garden is tomatoes and corn. So, if it won't grow those successfully I need to know now so I concrete the whole darn thing over, put a weight bench on it and call it "muscle beach". The east west arc is clear from about 20 degrees east until about 45 degrees west.

The garden is 12 north south x 24 feet east west. What do you think?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I think my garden is all wrong: advice please

Without answering your questions, I think it would help for you to contact the Harris County Master Gardeners since they are familiar with your area. Good luck. P.S. Their service is free.

RE: I think my garden is all wrong: advice please

got any pics? so like it is nice but maybe not what you had in mind. If what y ou had in mind wouldnt work then maybe this is better but you should have been consulted. Take some pics lets see this thing.


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