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Old 06-29-2012, 02:21 AM   #1
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Finally have a place and planning next years garden help

We just moved into our new house and I am planning my garden for next year. My lot is 8900 sq feet which I know isn't big for people who live in acreage in the country but for a lot in my city it is a decent sized lot. My front yard is north facing and has a big tree. I plan on putting a sand box up front, a rope ladder and disc swing for the kids. The back and side yard is south facing and that where I plan on gardening. I will put a swing set in the back yard and there is a big shed back there. I plan on having dh build a green house next to the shed. The rest of the back yard and side yard which is pretty big will be used for gardening. I am going to do raised beds but I was thinking of sheet mulching in a lot of them to save dirt costs. I also garden at a friend's house and I have a community garden plot I will probably keep next year too.

Right now the yard is overrun by dandelions but I noticed a bunch of crab grass too. Eek. We had a nightmare dealing with crab grass at my community plot. I guess I can't use mulch from my place since it is so weedy right? Will doing raised beds and putting something on the bottom of the beds keep the weeds at bay? I was thinking of putting down mulch between beds. People at the community garden say that the crab grass actually survives under the mulch and then wants to jump the soil and spread. It won't be as bad in a raised beds right? Also is there anything I can do in preparation for next year at my community plot to kill the crab grass? It is so weedy there. The plants are doing great but it was a nightmare pulling up crab grass before planting and it still is weedy. My husband already mowed. I was going to pull the dandelions but they already went to seed anyway and it is hard to find where the plant is since the grass got so tall because the owner was out of state. I can't pull out all the crab grass. Is there any way to kill it? That stuff has been terrible to deal with.

Does anyone have any tips for urban gardening and making the most use out of small spaces? We can have a certain amount of chicken and other backyard pets in Anchorage. My shed actually has a small section with a separate opening that will be perfect for making a coop out of. I was also thinking of getting Muscovy ducks.

I was thinking of spreading seeds for shade loving local flowers in the front yard.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:54 AM   #2
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Re: Finally have a place and planning next years garden help

Well, your lot is slightly larger than mine. So far we have 6 raised beds and a million planters (we prefer container gardening b/c we have some nasty clay soil that only grows weeds, lol). We plan on adding a few more raised beds and a small green house next year.

We have tons of dandelions but we just pull any that start growing in the beds b/c we actually harvest and eat the ones in our yard They don't come up through the bottom of the bed, just seed at the top so I try to get to the ones in the yard before they go to seed. I'm not sure what crabgrass is, so I guess I'm no help there

Square foot gardening is nice for small spaces, or any companion gardening really.

As far as the ducks I looked in to that a few months back and most people will tell you they are very messy and stinky and therefore really not practical on a small piece of land. I was sad because I wanted ducks so bad! We're going to do chickens next year and hope I don't react to homegrown eggs (I react to store bought chicken eggs, if I react to ours my family can still eat them). A couple years after that we'll look in to keeping bees. I can technically have dwarf goats (just found this out, apparently our city puts them in the dog category, lol), but I haven't figured out where I would put them so that's on the back burner for now.

We don't grow much in the way of flowers, all our space is reserved for edibles, hehe. I do want to do a few edible flowers next year though (pansies and violets maybe?) to put in the girls' salads and what not.

Right now we're growing:
6 tomato plants
3 apple trees
1 dwarf peach tree
2 strawberry patches
3 cranberry plants
1 salmon berry plants
1 white currant
4 blueberry bushes
6 evergreen huckleberry bushes
7 red huckleberry bushes
snap peas
4 kinds of potato
swiss chard
5 raspberry plants
2 marionberry plants
1 jalapeno (DHs experiment)
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