Friday, November 23, 2018

Using My Margins

Margins are those areas along defining lines that most people don't utilize. Places like.....
.....the foundation around buildings
.....the edges along a driveway
.....the space between a fence and building or orchard
.....the strip along a pasture fence
.....the ground between two greenhouses 

I became aware of using margins because I lacked decent soil to make enough in-the-sun garden beds to satisfy myself. So any and all land with soil that was a sunny location was pressed into growing space. Since then, I've gone into making gardens in margins because they are accessible and I can add soil to the low spots. Thus the driveway margin beds. 

On the other side of the rockwall, most of the ground is low. Not all, because the rockwall was built right into the raised ground in some spots. Where the ground is low I've been filling in. Layers of coarse vegetation, cardboard, waste paper, fresh grass clippings, chicken pen litter, pasture manure, compost, and soil gradually fill in the future garden bed. After a few weeks of filing, watering, stomping, the low places get filled up. I'm aware that this fill will reduce in depth significantly, so I plan on refilling in a couple of months. It will take several months before the new beds are ready for their final planting. 

The above pictured area is still in the settling process, but I said what the heck and planted sweet potato cuttings today. When I comes time to add more fill in a couple months I'll simply harvest the vines to feed to the livestock. That way I'll get a harvest while I'm waiting for the final garden bed to develop. 

This area I'm now working on ........

It was about a 2 foot deep and 3 foot wide hole behind the rock wall. It's ready for planting and will be first planted with a banana tree, some shade tolerant taro, a few pineapple plants for the sunnier spots, and sweet potatoes as the ground cover. After the taro and sweet potatoes are harvested out, I could grow other semi shade crops such as cholesterol spinach and turmeric. Or switch gears completely and make a perennial bed with bananas and chaya.  Who knows. I can let you know next week what got planted, 

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