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Organic Potager with Photos!

Posted by arwmommy (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 13:29

Thought I would cross post a bit and direct you to a post I made in the Organic Gardening Forum.

Hope you enjoy!

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here to go straight to the post in Organic Forum

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

Very nice beds! Make sure to post pics as the season progresses!

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

**this is crossposted in the organic forum, but thought I would just post it here so you don't have to jump over! This is the original post I made on March 24th***

OK, the garden is ready! Thought I would show you what I have been working on for the last week or two.
We are now planting--- herbs have gone in, and so have carrots, haricot verts, sugar snap peas and lettuces. It is still cool here at night, so we will wait a few weeks to put everything else in.

We have 4 boxes in a row (they are 4'x6') and a 10'x2' box on the side. They get sun during the morning to early afternoon and are shaded in the hot afternoon sun. In the back is my planting desk :) and the compost pile is behind the lattice on the right. All the beds have irrigation pipes running around the inside perimeter. We control waterflow by changing the heads (to spray a 1/4, 1/2 or full circle) and by putting in, or plugging up more heads. These are all connected to the central irrigation timer for our whole yard. Unfortunately EVERYTHING must be irrigated, as we only get rain in the month of February (with intermittent sprinkles in Oct-Jan-- like for a day or two each month!)

My DH's fabulous idea of covering the fence to the right with tons of sunflowers, from 2'-12' high was so great last year, so we have the seeds already in along the fence, and can't wait to see them come up.

The garden is also filled with lots of loved objects-- the chairs from my childhood dining room table, the desk of my fathers that was falling apart, an old found wheelchair (my father has been a paraplegic since age 6, though it was not HIS chair, it makes me think of him!), the sign for my father and husbands CPA practice before they merged with a large practice, other wonderful little things that make it OUR garden!
First photo is of the whole garden, second is a close up of the back, and the third is standing in the back, at the desk, and looking to the garden gate.

We have:
Butter Lettuces (green and red)
Haricot Verts (super skinny french green beans)
Carrots (orange and purple- daughter's pick!)
Sugar snap peas
12 kinds of Heirloom Tomatoes: 1884, Heart of Compassion, Paul Robeson, Earl's Faux, Kellogg's Breakfast, SunGold, Amy's Sugar Gem, Hawaiian Pineapple, Black Ethiopian, Mortgage Lifter and Goose Creek
Pumpkins (the tiny Jack Be Littles, and carving pumpkins)
Yellow Squash
Butternut Squash
Tahitian Squash (a sweet winter squash- new for us this year!)
Watermelon (small Sugar Baby)
Hot Pepper
Sweet Pepper
4 Mini Sweet peppers (red/green, orange, yellow, chocolate)
Italian Parsley
Mint (in a pot so it cannot escape and take over the garden! That's it up close in the first photo!)
and various edible flowers to make it look beautiful- nasturtiums, marigolds, chrysanthemums, chamomile, etc.
Whew! Its work, but is great to see how much the kids love it!

I will try to post monthly photos here so I can chart the progress of the garden! I hope you enjoy it!




Mama to two kids, ages 5 and 9, 1 big dog, 10 chickens and a husband of 14 years!

Update #1

Here is the first update!

First garden bed is the herbs,
Second bed is the squashes/melons
Third bed is corn/future pumpkins
Fourth bed is tomatoes
Long bed on Left is lettuces/carrots/beans/peas

Well, the seeds went in the first week of April. I am trying really hard to do Companion Planting so that we can build a healthy environment by bringing in good bugs and making it *easy* to garden organically!

I have really loved the "Great Garden Companions" book ( )
and have tried to incorporate those ideas into our little potager garden. So far, we have had some seedlings gobbled up by bugs, but the flowers make it so much more aesthetically pleasing that even if it takes a while for their benefit to be noticed it is worth it!

Almost everything here has been started by seed, with the exception of a few of the herbs and some of the flowers which were purchased at our farmer's market from a wonderful small organic grower. A cool thing you may notice is the little bug/bird water bath that is red in the 3rd bed. It is just a glazed pot saucer, but it has a rock that we got at the beach in it (with all the homes carved into it by mussles and other ocean creatures) so that the beneficial insects and other helpers can get water without diving into the big dish!

The other big addition to the garden this last month has been the increase in the compost pile (very back right, behind the lattice)! I cleaned out the chicken coop and added lots of straw, grass clippings and other kitchen scraps, and it will now sit and cook until the fall, when it will be spread out on the (mostly) empty beds. At that point I will again clean out the coop and start over, so that by early spring I have another big pile of compost. So far it has worked very well like that. Love those chickens and their poop!

You will also notice our big dog in these photos, (3.5 year old choc Lab, 105 pounds of muscle and energy!) and our daughter who loves her garden, and loves to pose!

Hope this gives everyone some ideas, inspiration and encouragement-- I have gleaned so much from all of you!




RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

What a great job you have done! I'm envious of your chicken poo. : )


RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

Off to a great start! So nicely mulched and laid out. Your daughter is a cutie, same age as mine.


Lots of difference in the photos this month--things really took off.
Roly Polies, though cute, were eating a ton of the seedlings! After much research in finding an organic solution, I found a product called Sluggo Plus that takes care of them with just iron and a bacteria (FYI- this is different from "Sluggo" which just takes care of slugs/snails. The "Sluggo Plus" also takes care of roly polies and earwigs)! After applying that (and replanting!) we have had no further issues.
Something (mice? birds?) were digging up and eating the sunflower seeds that we planted along the fenceline! Twice! We gave up and planted wildflowers and lavender. The flowers really help in bringing in the bees and other good bugs to help control bad bug populations as well as to pollinate our plants.
The tomato and pepper plants arrived! We got them from for the second year in a row. HUGE selection and simply fabulous customer service.
We found a beautiful little ORANGE watermelon plant at the Farmer's Market that we had to have. The flesh is peach colored and I was told it tastes like sorbet! We are looking forward to that one!
Everything is growing well, with the help of every 2 week fertilizing with a Neptune's Harvest fish/kelp fertilizer. This stuff is the best! It has really helped our lemon and lime trees take off this year too!
My DD and I took out the sand from the sandbox and replaced it with soil and compost and planted 72 (!!!) strawberry plants... the kids can't wait!
The blackberries and raspberries are going crazy again this year-- I have attached a photo of the fenceline.
We are already eating lettuce out of the garden on a regular basis-- yeah!

That's about it! Thanks for letting me share!


The back half of the garden-- tomatoes in back box, corn, pumpkins on front box. On left is lettuce, beans, corn, sugar snap peas.

The beautiful compost pile! I can't share it with anyone else but you guys-- everyone thinks I am crazy! It is about 4' deep, 2.5' wide and 3' high. It is covered daily in rose petals from the roses above-- it makes it even more beautiful! I'm a dork!!! :)

The blackberries and raspberries. The whole fenceline isn't in the photo, but it is about 40-50' long.

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

I think you have a lovely garden!!! I think we gardeners all have a little "dork" in us, we're a different breed!!!
You all work together and it looks really nice, I'm a total "newbie" with veggies and herbs, we just dug out a 12x8 section for this, so I'm hoping to have some success.
Reading lots and lurking on these sites for info. I like your decorations too, daughter and doggie are both adorable.

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

Thanks primgal! It is fun, and my daughter is *totally* into it now. Hopefully at age 5 this will become just a part of who she is-- we garden, have chickens (in suburbia!), and she just loves it.

Good luck with your garden!

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

beautiful photos. thanks for sharing your story. what state/zone do you live in? cindy

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

We are in So. California-- in a (slightly) inland valley, zone 9b.

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

Wow. Kick ass garden. Very cool.

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

Beautiful! Everything looks so well organized and happy - including your dd. ;)

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

Ooh. I love your garden! I especially love your raspberries. What type do you grow? How easy are they? Amount of sun? I live in south central Texas and want raspberries, but was under the impression they wouldn't grow in our heat. I guess since you are 9b, I was mistaken. Please pass on some info. My daughter and I would flip over them!

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

I love your pics! Lots of great ideas.I am starting a bit late this year, but now I am inspired.I am going to put in strawberries, green beans,zucchini, green and red pepper, tomatos, cucumber and green beans! I am gonna clean up my compost pile too! Yours looks so good. Will be putting the DH to work this weekend! Thanks for the inspiration.

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

Jacci- sorry so late to respond! I honestly have no idea what kind of raspberries! But I have learned to get them from a small local nursery (NOT big box store) as they are likely to stock varieties that do well in your area, and they want you to be a happy customer.

To be honest the raspberries have sucked until this year. We put in blackberry and raspberry plants 5 years ago and the blackberries took off, but the raspberries did nothing. They grew to a foot tall- that's it- with no fruit. Finally after 3 summers of that, we cut them all down and put blackberries in their spot. Last year they grew the normal foot (no berries) but this year they have come back with a vengance--- must be the competition ;). We now have amazing blackberries and raspberries intermingled. The berries look so different from each other that it is no big deal.

As I type, DD is out there right now picking all the berries that are even 75% ripe and eating them and feeding them to the unbelievably spoiled chickens.

Good luck and remember--- local nursery!

Thanks for the kind words-- it is nice to see how different people garden, it always gives me tons of ideas too! Good luck in the DH dept! I end up doing everything myself because spring time is Tax Season and DH is a CPA! By the time he is available, everything is done...I think he planned it that way :)

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

Any photo updates ready to post of your gorgeous gardens? :-)

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

What a great little slice of heaven you have Linda! Would love to see updated pics. Pretty please.....

Gardeners are a different breed. I come up with stuff and my husband looks at me like I've lost it so more often than not I end up doing what I want to do and he sees it when it's done. Then he can't try to dissuade me. Oh well. I built my own compost bin this year so I can add that to my new list of obsessions - lol.

I was however able to have DH install my rain barrel. It's amazing how quickly it fills. It was full within a day with moderate rain. I hooked it up to a soaker hose in my raised veggie bed. Yahoo - works great!

Sorry for rambling....but I do love your garden.


RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

OK, so it's been a really long time since I posted photos! Thought I would finally share with you guys...

This is July 1, 2008

looking back toward the garden gate

Carrots, hericot verts, lettuces, nasturtium...

Crazy heirloom tomatoes (even though I meant to plant intensly, this was *too* much in this box!)

And this is August 9, 2008
We were on vacation the whole month of July (didn't think through what that would do to my garden) and my lovely neighbors totally overrode the timers and overwatered my tomato plants and so they crashed! The squashes took over, too!


So now we are begining to plant (this week! Whoo hoo for living in Southern Calif!), and I will continue to post updates, hopefully better than I did last year!

Hope you enjoy~~~

Much love,

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

That is just beautiful. What a cute little area you have there! You really did a good job with that little piece of yard there.

I LOVE the old desk as potting table! What a cool idea. A friend was just opining the other day about wanting a potting table. I think I'll tell her about what you've done.

Thanks for posting the new pictures. It's nice to take a peek at summertime in the middle of winter.

Forgot to add...

I forgot to add that yes, I do think your compost pile is pretty. ;) Seriously ~ just beautiful, especially with the rose petals. :)

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

Thanks for the sweet comments! I love that dang compost pile! Warning on the desk, it was obviously not made to be outside, so is now falling apart from water warping, but that is OK, we would have just taken it to the dump-- no one jumped on it from freecycle or craigslist! So be warned it is not a long term solution.

The garden is now full of newly delivered beautiful compost and I am planting soon.... if it would stop raining! I always get crazy excited about the garden this time of year, so its nice to know that there are others like me out there. ;)

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

Oh, too bad about the desk. That's a bummer. It looked like it was just perfect as a potting bench ~ pot labels in one drawer, seed starting mix in another. ;) I'm thinking maybe a good coat of marine varnish, the clear polyurethane they use to paint the wood in boats, might make a desk last longer outside?

Oh, yeah ~ I'm getting excited about my garden, too. I haven't built a potager really yet. I have the space picked out, but have to get rid of the bermuda grass first (EEEEE-vil stuff!). I do currently have a few beds I plant in, so have started tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse for it, and artichokes and Luna hibiscus, too. COME ON SPRING!

RE: Organic Potager with Photos!

  • Posted by tesa001 z8 plantersville tx (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 17, 09 at 16:32

great post! what an inspiration

thanks for sharing, and allowing us a wee peek into
your world

i'm green with envy


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