We moved the sidewalks to the garden ( The Garden)

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Lynn and I have started building our new concept garden for next season. It consistes of 18 in wide wooden walkways around 4 ft growing zones (12 of them). We see a lot of pluses to it , No dirt tracking in, very little weeding, able to work it in the rain. I'm even considering erecting a wire structure similar to what is on p97 of the new Countryside, but using smaller mesh to keep critters out during summer and to be a greenhouse in winter. Lynn is planning to plant this new plot and our current traditional to compare yeilds. Let ya'll know next year what the scores are.

-- Jay Blair (jayblair678@yahoo.com), October 12, 2000


Built my first raised bed last year for this years harvest. Lost 75% of my pepper plants to hail storms. Still had more from the ones remaining than ever before. Can't say enough good things about them. I too will be building more, with walkways in between. I like the cheap barn they built in the latest issue. Might try to adapt a similar approach.

-- Ed Weaver (edzreal@postmaster.co.uk), October 12, 2000.

Ed, Like I said, that quonset/tarp barn would be great with small mesh to keep the birds out of the garden. A setup like that and a homesteader could run a roadside stand year round for extra cash. I'm glad to know raised beds do so good and like I told my wife, I don't think my arthritic/spastic legs will complain about the easier access.

-- Jay Blair (jayblair678@yahoo.com), October 12, 2000.

Raised beds are great -- if you keep your garden small! We seem to perpetually get it too big, and there is more weeding (which all has to be done by hand in the raised beds) than we can keep up with! When we are moved, we are going back to rows for most of the garden so we can cultivate with a horse (for a small market garden as well as our personal food supply).

I like those little barns, too -- can see a lot of uses for them, and I don't think you'd have to pay property taxes on them, as they are not permanent structures with a foundation. That's an important consideration around here, where everything you do is taxed!

I found a web site for "drought" gardening -- http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sovereigntylibrary/0302% 20homestedlibrary/030201/03020100frame.html -- and he recommends that if you can't water your garden, you should use a lot wider spacing between plants than normal. (He started out with raised beds.) It allows the plants roots to not have to compete for what water there is. This is why, in the arid regions, the plants are so spaced out. Anyway, this is what we will go to, even though MOST summers here see adequate rainfall, so we don't have to worry about irrigation.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), October 13, 2000.

If they tax em, you could always put it up , take it down, put it up, drive the appraisers crazy.

-- Jay Blair (jayblair678@yahoo.com), October 15, 2000.

We do a similar thing using mulch instead of a wood walkway. If you want the walkway to last it needs to be treated but you dont want the chemicals from the wood in your soil. You could use the "plastic woods" that people are using for decks but thats expensive. A few bags of mulch does it for us.

-- Gary (gws@redbird.net), October 18, 2000.

Gary, You hit on the answer to what I told my wife, when the walks rot they practically become mulch. Thanks.

-- Jay Blair (jayblair678@yahoo.com), October 18, 2000.

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