What is it about the lengthening days that make people long for their gardens? I don't long to garden in December. But even though there's still thick snow on the ground, show me the end of February and I'll show you my gardening plans.
Yesterday I walked out to the garden to start planning infrastructure improvements. The snow was pristine and untouched.
All of the smaller tires are coming out this spring. They were the first tires I installed when we first conceived the idea of tire gardening, and therefore they don't have a foundation of tarps and gravel for weed and pest control.
We've found that the larger tractor tires, placed over tarps and gravel (which allows drainage), have given much better results. We're transitioning to nearly all tractor tires. Some will be split in half for shallower beds, others will be whole (except for the sidewalls cut out) for deeper beds.
Here are the strawberry beds. Can't wait for oodles of fresh strawberries this summer!
One of the things I wanted to do yesterday was pace off our unused garden spaces and determine how many more tractor tires will fit. Then I counted how many tractor tires we have and tried to guesstimate how many more we'll need.
We have 36 large tractor tires on hand, which theoretically will yield 72 planting beds. But not all will be split in half. Some of the biggest tires -- huge three foot monsters -- will merely have the top and bottom sidewalls cut out, then planted with fruit or walnut trees. We're going to fence off a separate area for an orchard and keep the original garden space strictly for veggies and small fruits (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries).
In theory we can fit another 120+ tractor tire halves into the garden, though it's doubtful we'll get all of that done this year (we don't have enough tires for one thing). We'll also be installing a drip irrigation system, since a garden that big will take far too long to water by hand.
This also means that we'll be recruiting more tractor tires come spring!
Meanwhile, a friend sent me this photo which (ahem) I thought was apropos.