Expanding the Garden for Next Year

One thing I am learning about gardening as a beginner,  is that you have to start planning for next year’s garden right now.

As part of preparing for next year, we decided increase the size of our garden by 4 feet in length and widen it by 6 feet, basically to within 6 inches of the fence, which I re-did last week.  That sounds really easy doesn’t it?

My little Troy Bilt rototiller was not made for this.

This meant that I had to get my long handled spade out, along with my secret weapon and do the initial  breaking up work by hand.  You know something, this was a lot like work, but was a hell of a workout and I was able to play Harold the Destroyer and no one complained. 😉

I found out what grows naturally and what we grow best here in Maine?

BFR – BIG  F’N  ROCKS!!!!   The first part wasn’t too bad, the biggest rocks were 8-12 inches or so, but when I turned the corner I hit this bolder, luckily it didn’t like my secret weapon – a crowbar and split into these large pieces – they were still around 100 pounds each, but much more manageable.

As I kept moving down this side, I hit several more BFRs only the rest were granite and didn’t split, they just laughed at me when I wacked them with the crowbar or tried to lift them out. I had to go around them, luckily most of these are where we plan to put the raised garden boxes, so they can stay where they are and grow some more.

I just wasn’t able to finish this today, I got about 1/4 of the way down the other section and just ran out of gas.  Below is the initial pass with the small rototiller, it did a great job, once we got it busted up.

It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so it looks as though I will have to finish Friday or this weekend. Then we will put a mixture of moopoo, lime and our seashell compost and rototill everything in.  This is a lot of work for what many would think of as a small increase in space, but we are only planting our garden for two people not a large family (if we were, I would definitely have different equipment) and this increase will allow us to experiment with some new plants and let a section lay fallow next year.

I am really glad that we waited until now to do this, it wasn’t real warm, but I was sweating like a stuck pig.  If this had been earlier in the month or during the summer, I doubt that I would have gotten this much done, I don’t do real well in hot weather.

The reality is that this “gardening” is giving me a lot bigger appreciation for those had to or who have do this stuff manually and do not have a big rototiller or tractor to do the work for them.  Actually I do enjoy the manual labor and look at it as part of my weight-loss program, but I really wouldn’t want to have to do this for a living or depend on this for ensuring that we have enough food.

Back to it after it dries out and I really believe that doing this work now, instead of delaying it until the spring is absolutely the right way to do things.  You never know what the future holds, so you do as much as you can now, to make the work simpler for you in the future whenever possible.