How to Build a Raised Bed on a Slope:
How to build a Grape Trellis on a Residential Fence:
Growing Perennials in Zone 3 Playlist:
Rock Dust Lab Results:
Biochar Lab Results:
Today i am going to re-cap my 2014 goals and set some 2015 ones!
Lets look back at the 2014 goals we set.
Goal 1 was to increase the production in the garden. I did this through a number of improvements and technique changes.
First off I added a few new perimeter beds including the trial beds adding some great square footage to the garden.
The next step was to go vertical so I enlisted the help of my father and grandfather to help me build a new trellis. These trellis allowed me to bring grow the grapes vertically while growing other plants at the bottom.
The third major improvement was to plant different crops with different methods to optimize their production. I like many other gardeners started with square foot gardening planting recommendations. through the years of growing and noting the results in my garden so for things like basil I broadcast seed them and others I companion plant to catch a succession harvests.
Although I was unable to collect hard data as my son has free snacking range while playing in the garden I am very confident that I met this goal head on!
Goal 2 Was to add more perennials to my garden. As it would happen I tended to gravitate towards the development of an orchard.
I ended up adding two varieties of grapes to join our heirloom ones, three blueberries, Goji berries, two Honey Berries.
Needless to say Id call this a success and ongoing project as perennials are one of the best investments that keep feeding you for years to come!
Goal 3 I wanted to participate in the home garden field trials. As you all know I think this has been one of the greatest successes this year in the garden.
The results were very very interesting and completely unexpected. Not only are both Patrick and I planning on continuing the trials I have sent in a number of other samples to have them analyzed including two of the top brands of Rock Dust and the initial Biochar I used. My hope is that further analysis will help us find the evidence that can help us address some of the many questions we have!
Goal 4 was to extend my season. Although I was not able to harvest later into the season I did learn some valuable lessons and will improve next year! All is not lost though as the sun is returning I should be able to harvest earlier in the spring when the plants come out of dormancy.
Goal 5 was to try new things. Both in the garden and on YouTube I think I have gone so far beyond what I thought was possible! I have had so much fun!
now on to the new goals for 2015!
Goal 1 The Frugal Garden Challenge
This year along with Patrick and Huw I am going to use the cornerstone of frugal gardening with everything I do. As you know I am testing my garden assumptions and hope to have some evidence to go with the new approach. I want to show you through the evidence in my garden that not only can gardening be cost effective but work extremely well and produce great results!
Goal 2 Increase the diversity of crops
Instead of working to increase the production which of course I will try to do I want to increase the varieties of produce that are both kid friendly and that can be used for canning as my wife and I have been experimenting and would love to increase how much we use from the garden.
Goal 3 Increase the number of perennials in my garden.
Although I have increase the number of perennials in my garden this is likely going to be a standing item for awhile. I hope to add some lingon berries to the mix or another compact cold hardy berry that will fit under my heirloom grapes. On top of that I want to add some perennial herbs and possibly others. Again suggestions are welcome!
Goal 4 Continue and expand the home garden field trials, Rock Dust, Biochar and Compost Tea
Along with continuing the field trials for the rock dust and biochar Ill be joining Patrick on the compost tea trials as well.
In addition to the beds I have now for the rock dust and biochar trials I will be working with the Prairie Urban Farm ad the University of Alberta to add some poor soil condition beds to the mix to see how these products preform under those conditions.
Goal 5 Try new things
just like last year goal 5 will be to try new things! I think its important to keep learning in the garden and trying new things is a great place to start!