Our new home is centrally located the heart of Jacksonville–close to shopping, close enough to Rocksteady’s work, and in a good school zone. Somehow, we managed to find a largish (1/3+ acre) lot with a conservation preserve in the backyard that affords us privacy. The preserve takes up most of the backyard though, so our outdoor living and gardening space is much smaller than I hoped. I just keep reminding myself it’s less to mow…
This picture captures the right half of our backyard, and you can see we tucked the garden off to the far side. When we moved in a month ago, the fence actually cut across the middle of the backyard. It ran directly out from where you see it turn 90 degrees. After reviewing our property survey, we realized the preserve starts about fifteen to twenty feet deeper than the fence line. So we took down the back run of the wood fence and plan to install a black aluminum rail fence a little further back, which will give us a better view of the forest.
Rocksteady thinks the fence project is way down the road. I forecast it happening early winter when we realize all the conservation beasts are attacking the garden… and dear husband gets nervous that I’ll start attacking him if we don’t take steps to protect the vegetables.
The plants in question range from tomatoes to sugar snap peas to beans and stir fry brocooli. There’s even a bok choy seedling that survived Hurricane Matthew.
There are two 4’x4’ beds, and the one pictured above has two patio cherry tomato plants with a smattering of carrots in between them and a lot of green, yellow, and purple snap beans. The other 4’x4’ bed has a few cauliflower plants (that aren’t looking too good after the hurricane) and several dill plants.
The long bed, pictured right, is about 20” wide and 16’ in length. There are three Golden Jubliee heirloom tomatoes and a ten foot row of sugar snap peas. When it gets a little cooler, we will transplant lettuce and greens in front of the peas. I’m actually surprised the peas sprouted. The Bear (our four year old daughter) and I harvested those seeds from the spring crop at our old house. Check out this post to see how to harvest sugar snap seeds.
The last bed, 4’x8’, has a row of beans (sowed two weeks after the first batch and not pictured), nine stir fry brocooli plants, four Brussels sprouts, and one wee bok choy. This raised bed extends over a natural ditch that transitions into the preserve. Rocksteady recycled some of the old fence posts he took down to build up the backside of this bed, which is three times deeper than the front.
Wish us lots of sun, rain, and no more hurricanes! And of course, stay tuned for fresh and healthy recipes from our fall garden.