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Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

Posted by northwestplanter 6 Columbia Basin WA (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 9, 12 at 23:20

Hey everyone!

I have been thinking this week about how to really give my potager that finishing touch that will make it look less like a construction zone and more of an asset in the yard. here is what i have been coming up with for the past few days and thought that i would share it with you.

My garden is technically in its third year, but wasn't planted last year and i
have been struggling to finish it for the past two years, but time and money are in short supply so i have been making due, but now we are finally nearing the last stages of construction!!!

The diagram is an idealistic view of what is actually out there right at the moment. the gravel paths, arbor, and staining on the fence still need to be done, along with the other raised bed in the middle. which will be finish shortly. any thoughts or ideas about the extension part of the garden with the blackberries? Right now nothing is there, but the blackberries and i need to set raised beds out somewhere for strawberries. i think a couple of blueberries would be fun too. and i need some space to plant some gourds. this is what i came up with. any ideas for water?? currently i have a drip system that has proved insufficient so i have also turned the sprinkler to hit it as well which has helped immensely. any input is much appreciated.
photos to come!! (despite it being unfinished.) btw sorry for the upside down pic. the best i could do for now.

Here is a link that might be useful: My garden plan 2012

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

I'm guessing the white areas are raised beds? Are the lines in the E W beds arbors?
It looks nice! I wish I had thought of a prettier set up when I started, but started with a box, then added another, then another etc etc!
My garden is about the size of yours and I'm hoping to expand by about that much in the next few years. The new section will be more thought out and "pretty" with benches and a front entrance with a pergola on the west side. I already have the white picket fence! I'm hoping to get my out of work hubby to get on it before he goes back to work, but his garage cleaning comes first! LOL
Good luck and good gardening! Nancy

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

I'm still working on my potager, too. Last year my husband got sick, so there's plenty of weeding to do and some of the blueberry bushes and raspberries need to be taken out and the beds redone.

That being said, I really like my overall plan. The fruits and herbs, along with some vegetables and flowers will go in the main garden. But, it's too windy and cold for the warmer veggies, such as tomatoes and squash. Those will go in a new bed, by the lilac bushes. I'd like to at least get that garden planned and dug out this year, but it just depends on how much help I have this summer. I'd love to finally get some ripe tomatoes this year! :)

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

  • Posted by lolauren 7 - WA State/Desert (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 9, 13 at 22:47

northwestplanter - I am also in the Columbia Basin and garden in raised beds. (Where are you, if you don't mind disclosing? I'm near Tri-C.) I have used drip lines successfully for a few years. Is your problem water pressure or, if not, what? I have all sorts of veggies, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries growing happily with drip...

Your garden will be gorgeous. Did you get started yet?

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

Already out there with the tape measure. Am doubling the size by taking welded-wire fencing off the south side posts, putting up new posts further south and east, and de-sodding the new area, but leaving a large grassy area for a couple of chairs, to enjoy a rest from my labor.

The deer tend to show up by summer, so the fence is 6 ft. high (our NE deer aren't really 8 ft. jumpers like the western ones). I'll be putting chicken wire along the bottom 2 ft. to keep out the small rabbits. And a large pile of manure, and one of mulch, are waiting for my shovel.

So, if I survive this effort until then, this summer should be good!


RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

thanks for the encouragement everyone! It has been A LOT of work to get it as far as it is right now.! I have been working pretty much all winter and spring to finish it. i said that the garden was in it's third year earlier, but i found a photo of its very first year dated 2008! i can't believe it has been that long! lolauren- i am out in the country near Moses Lake. I should have said soaker hoses instead of drip. i just couldn't keep the surface of the soil moist enough to sprout any seeds with the soaker hoses. so i replaced them with a 'drip' line set up with small adjustable sprinkler heads. now i have no problem keeping the garden watered at all.
Garden beginnings 2008 photo gardenbeginnings1_zps8c07ed6c.jpg
here's the photo from 08'

i just finished putting the gravel paths in the upper garden this afternoon and was so pleased to see it coming together i had to dig out my camera and share. It's still not 'done' but it is getting VERY close! here's a view from the entryway. the arbor (pic taken under it) still needs finishing, and i need to get out and weld a couple more tomato cages together and two 'obelisk' type structures to go on either corner of the center beds. i haven't had time to really get down to planting very much yet, as far as spring crops go, but will be just on time for the rest.

 photo DSCN2727_zps317f900a.jpg

this is a better view of the entryway arbor(taken from the NE corner). i have honeysuckle planted at the base of it already.  photo DSCN2728_zpsecb63ad1.jpg

this is the back portion of the garden. I ended up not doing two center beds because it would have caused too much congestion in the walkways. the two half wine barrels have my blueberries(dwarf top hat) and the middle raised bed has my strawberries. i plan to have tomatillos and peanuts in the two side beds!! i've never tried either of them so it should be interesting. and this is my... well, i wont say help, but she is my company while i work. penny the bull mastiff pup.
 photo DSCN2729_zpsf4320b38.jpg

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

Looks great! You'll have to post more pictures once you've gotten everything planted and it's had some time to grow.

My only concern is for your blueberries, did anyone tell you that you need at least two different cultivars for proper pollination? Ideally you should have three, I like to go with an early, mid, and late season ripener to extend the berry harvest. Have you heard of the heirloom blueberry named Rubel? I think everyone growing blueberries should have one, it has small tart berries that are ideal for baking or freezing. The best thing about them is that even though they are half the size of a normal blueberry they have twice the antioxidants, so 1 cup of Rubel blueberries will have 4x the antioxidants of other cultivated blueberries. They also have the longest fruiting season, they start early and go through to the late season so they make a great pollinator for other cultivars.

I'll get off my soapbox now *sheepish grin*

Anyways, I can't wait to see pictures when all those beautiful beds are overflowing with plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rubel blueberry info

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

Very nice set up!
My neighbors are moving to Hawaii, and are selling us their just built last fall 8'x40"x1' deep beds that stand up 3'tall, so no bending for those beds! We just have to find a tractor to get them over here!
That will extend our garden by quite a bit, and we're going to move fences to accomodate the addition. There might even be a greenhouse in the plans! I hope so! Nancy

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

  • Posted by lolauren 7 - WA State/Desert (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 15, 13 at 0:06

northwestplanter - that looks beautiful! You still have time for most of the cool season crops if you want to grow them, but you may know that already.

Can you please take a photo of the sprinkler you have hooked up? I'm curious what you used.

I hope you post photos of your garden as it grows. I would love to see what people are growing locally and how their crops grow...

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

Great job. I love the higher beds. One of these days I am going to make mine higher. That bending is hard on old knees. I have also been considering putting down gravel in the pathways. Yours in going to look so nice planted out.

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

thanks so much everyone! After a sweltering hot mother's day weekend I managed to get everything planted/sown out in the garden. Peppers, tomatillos, ground cherries, and eggplant, and basil got transplanted out finally. Cucumbers (both pickling and garden varieties), zucchini, beets, cilantro, beans, several annual vines, nasturtium,and peanuts. Most everything is up and growing now, except for the peanuts, which is kind of worrying. (wonder if the soil temp has anything to do with it?)
I'm really excited to see how things grow and fill in.
I took these pics while the water was on last Sunday morning. here's how it turned out.
entryway mothersday weekend 2013 photo photo_zpsb17aa793.jpg

the front perennial flower/herb bed. I have, oregano, tarragon, a couple types of thyme, parsley, sage out there. The wire fence around it is temperarily in place to keep out a well meaning, but destructive, mastiff puppy. and yes you can see that the front arbor is not yet finished. that is no. 1 on the to do list when i get a chance.
front garden. mother's day weekend 2013 photo image6_zps7fb37e5d.jpeg

this is a view of the south side of the fence. I have forsythia, butterfly bush, heritage red raspberries, and black currants. all planted this spring.
rasberry bed 12may2013 photo image5_zps7d489d87.jpeg

Lolauren- hope you didn't melt on mother's day weekend! i was down in tri cities and the temp in the car read 96*!!! you had asked about my sprinkler system. I really like it except for how touchy the sprinkler heads are. they plug/ stop spinning for no apparent reason. The coverage they offer though out weighs the periodic checking of every nozzle. In fact it may cover too well! (see the soaked soil) in the desert summer that definitely wont be too much though!
 photo Garden_zpsbf6c7a27.jpg

I had to share a close up of my favorite pot I did this year. I've never done a succulent pot arrangement before, but I'm excited to see how it grows. the pot i found was a steal in my opinion. solid stained concrete for $120! I couldn't pass it up.
 photo image_zps98746c9d.jpeg

as far as the blueberries go, every source i've looked up said that they will do ok without another variety. live and learn I guess. we'll see what they do for a few years before i pass judgment.

anyone else have any pictures of their "finished" product?? or any picture of your progress?

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

That succulent pot looks awesome! Everything looks great, actually. I love the rocks lining the bed on the outside of the fence, I think that is my favorite way to line a flower bed.

Hate to be a downer, but you should transplant those raspberries right away. They will send out runners that take over not only your nice flower/herb bed, they will ruin your gravel pathways and fill up your veggy beds if allowed. Bramble fruits are aggressively invasive and will take over, you should check out some of the other posts about raspberries. They don't grow as a bush, they are a bramble and want to create a briar patch.

Instead of waiting to see if you will have proper pollination you might want to head over to the Fruit forum and ask, there are some real pros over there. If you have neighbors with blueberries they might be close enough to pollinate yours.

I don't mean to rain on your parade, but fruit is my #1 garden passion so I always like to share what I know when I see things that may turn out to be problematic in the future. If I were you I would move the raspberries to a distant corner and replace them with a couple of different blueberries.

Here is a link that might be useful: Discussion on raspberries in a potager

This post was edited by peachymomo on Wed, May 22, 13 at 11:51

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

  • Posted by t-bird Chicago 5/6 (My Page) on
    Wed, May 22, 13 at 16:34

It is really beautiful! Very nicely done!

What wood did you use? Is it oiled? It looks fantastic.

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

  • Posted by lolauren 7 - WA State/Desert (My Page) on
    Mon, May 27, 13 at 11:37

Your potager is beautiful. Thanks for the new photos.

It was 96f for several days running! Very strange and confusing to my garden plants. :)

Thanks for the pic of the little sprinkler. I've tried various ones with similar problems. Our hard water is also a little sandy.. sigh.

I agree on the raspberry comment. The linked thread has a photo of my raspberry bed after one year. They spread and they spread aggressively. To our benefit, it is so dry in the summer here that they will likely just grow in directions of consistent moisture... Unfortunately, that looks like it will be your nicely manicured raised beds and gravel nearby.

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

Hey all!
I can't believe how quick things are growing!! I was out in the garden just this morning snapping a couple pics.
It really has turned into a jungle!! I knew i wanted a full look when I planted, but It turned out to be too close together!
T-Bird- The wood used is treated 2x6x10's. People have said that the stain damages the plants, but I have not seen any ill effects from it. I stained the fence to match the treated lumber too.

Here's a view from the entryway July 2013 photo 82e337ff-c73e-45c2-9c4a-84676be86d97_zps8466bda9.jpg

another view from the back entrance.
 photo image_zps8d4b53ad.jpg

I am really pleased how it turned out, but now I know that i need to plant them a little further apart and/or prune them more to keep the plants under control. it has really gotten out of hand now. I spent the afternoon pruning and getting ready to sow my winter crops! excited to finally get some lettuce this season!

I am going to re-design my raspberry bed. Thanks for the input on that everyone!!

Let's see whats going on in your gardens!!

This post was edited by northwestplanter on Wed, Sep 18, 13 at 19:39

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

  • Posted by t-bird Chicago 5/6 (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 11:54

Wow - that looks absolutely fantastic! Lots of colors too and flowers!


RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

Wonderful! I love to see gardens overflowing with bounty, and you have a very nice mix of healthy green leaves and nice bright flowers. It's interesting to see how in the older photos the succulent pot was such an eye-catching focal point, but once everything else grew in it was kind of eclipsed by the surrounding veggy beds. But the beauty of it is that once the seasons change and the annual beds start looking frumpy the succulents will jump back into the spotlight as the stars of the show. Very nice!

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

Don't know what happened with my pics above. here are the most current anyways.
to tell the truth i am looking forward to put it to sleep for the winter. You know how it gets when the season is coming to a close haha
Mid August 2013 photo null_zpsa5958431.jpg

here's a shot from the side facing the house. this is the herb/flower garden. It really could have done better, but im just glad everything is in this year!!

 photo null_zps64bcd312.jpg

RE: Anyone planning out next year's improvements?

Looks great! Your garden really filled in. What a difference from start to now!

I am already planning on a new spot for my tomato plants. I can't seem to avoid leaf spot and early blight no matter where I rotate my tomatoes in the garden. I also want to add 2 more columnar apples and rework the front perennial beds. They have really gotten out of control!

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