Progress at Terra Nova Gardens

| 6/18/2012 9:52:27 AM

A photo of Nebraska DaveWow, this last month has been a busy month.  I guess it's way past time for me to post up another entry to keep folks from wondering if the Big Foot of the inner city has dragged Old Nebraska Dave off into the woods never to be heard from again.  Well, the good news is that old Nebraska Dave is alive and well and he spends most of his time at Terra Nova Gardens.  Improvements are still being made.  A donation of a picnic table that needed a little repair will become an asset for Terra Nova Gardens.  A tree fell on the table so with a little help from a plumber torch and a good crow bar the frame was straightened and the broken wood was replaced.  Walla, a functional picnic table made for the garden.  I have a plan to keep the table from becoming a snatch and steal item but that's for the next post.
Carpet weed barrier 
This new Terra Nova Gardens is very experimental in nature.  All kinds of weed control are being tried.  Here is a corn planting that is just coming up with carpet strips between the rows.  The carpet came from apartments that were replacing carpet in some of their units.  I cut it in two foot strips and put a four inch space between the carpet strips.  It works the same as a professional weed barrier.  The weight of the carpet keeps the wind from blowing it around.  No anchor of any kind is needed to keep it in place.  The moisture can pass through the carpet and keep the ground from drying out.  All good things.

Sweet corn for the wild critters 
Here the strips have been moved to the next section and larger sections have been covered with carpet to continue the weed control.  As you can see the strips definitely has killed all the weeds.  The down side to the carpet is that it's a harbor for all kinds of bugs especially ants.  Hence the moving of the carpet strips when the weeds are dead is a must.  We just went through a rainy week and received over four inches of rain.  I haven't been over to the garden so I don't know how it looks now.

Corn Pumpkins watermelon and potatoes 

Here you can see the pumpkins on the left and the potatoes on the right.  These were planted by my neighbor who became interested in what I was doing and asked if he could plant some things.  The old hay mulch is a donation from my cousin that was cleaning out his barn.  He used to have a horse but had to sell it.  The mulch is doing a great job of keeping the weeds and grass at bay as well and I'm still hopeful to find more as I think this is the best weed control for a garden.  As you can plainly see it's the best of times and the worst of times with weed control.  As the carpet continues to march forward, the land is slowly being reclaimed for garden use. 

My garden inside the fence 

This is a look at the garden inside the fence.  Tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and on the far side peaches and cream sweet corn.  It's a bit ragged and weeds don't seem to take a break .... ever.  This is the raised bed area and the weedy pathways will eventually be covered with wood chips.  Slowly but surely things are coming together here. 

6/24/2012 2:09:02 PM

Allen, you are correct about the straw. I bought a couple bales of straw for the garden inside the fence and found that it was the wheat straw and was loaded with seeds. The straw that was donated from my cousin was horse hay which is basically grass and was much better. I'm still working on obtaining a couple of the huge rectangular bales of hay. It would cover all the garden area. I'm having a difficult time finding a contact number to get permission to take it. It's been sitting by the road for about three years. The carpet has been a great natural weed deterrent. It takes about three weeks to kill all vegetation under the carpet. With all the apartments in the city, there is practically a never ending supply. Thanks for stopping by to see what Old Nebraska Dave has been doing and leaving a comment. Have a great day in the garden.

Allan Douglas
6/24/2012 10:27:35 AM

Lots of work ahead, but it is coming together nicely, Dave! Interesting thought with the carpeting. I like straw too, but have to be careful. Wheat straw has a lot of seed heads that will sprout. Rye or oat straw is just stalks after the seen head were harvested. Of course, when it's donated you take what you can get. I got three bales that were used as stage decoration for a show. Wheat straw of course, but hey...(or hay!)

6/19/2012 4:12:59 PM

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