When we moved into the new house in October, I knew that I could plant some fall produce and it would do well through the winter since we have such a mild climate. Here in Alabama collards, kale, broccoli, peas and lettuce actually do better in a fall planting than an early spring because of the mild winters. With the chaos of selling our old house, moving and setting up a new house (1000 square feet bigger than the old one) I decided that I would spend the winter getting the inside of the house in order and devote the spring to the garden and yard.
Many lazy Saturday mornings I spent combing through The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd Edition, our local ACES website and the endless seed catalogues that start coming in the mail around January, picking out vegetables, reading about the planting methods and sketching out the plan for the garden. By February this is what I had planned out:
The garden plot that was established by the former owners of our house is 20′ x 20′ with fencing. There was an old solar panel and wiring around the garden, but it was beyond repair. Over the winter we visited the co-op and got a new fence mount solar panel and electric braided wire rope. 4 strings from 3 inches to about 4 feet high should keep most of the pests out (hopefully). Although deer can jump 4 feet with no problem the electric fence and small size of the garden should keep them at bay.
During our original tour of the house the realtor noted that there was a well, with a tank in the shop. I didn’t really pay much attention to this fact at the time because the water to the house is city water, but now I realized that it was for the garden irrigation. There are four sprinkler heads, one in each corner of the garden, that are fed from the well. During the winter I replaced the heads with new ones (although these are still not working perfectly) and adjusted them to spray as much of the garden as possible. Everything was ready for the Spring! Actual garden planting post to come….