If you’re familiar with my blog, you know that I love to share my very favorite gardening. In this article Miss. Yolanda Kennerly from North Carolina (US) her practical story shared with us. She’s the practical inspirational story of a backyard garden.
Once upon a time, purchasing a small Victorian home in 2016 an initial was to transform the rundown weed infested yard into a private haven complete with rose garden and country club turf law. I began composting early on to a small backyard garden consisting of vegetable of mainly tomatoes and herbs. But the lush green grass was my pride and joy after adoring the beautiful space for a number of years. my priorities began to shift not only did, I grow tired of the continual maintenance and tedious upkeep, but I became increasingly frustrated with the enormous amounts of water and chemical fertilizers necessary to keep things looking nice and green in the arid rocky mountain climate so early last winter.
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I began reading books about organic backyard garden and bio-intensive mini-farming already an avid Italian inspired chef. I wanted to support my desire for an abundance of locally grown fresh pesticide-free produce as a budding environmentalist in locavore. I became determined to use my land as efficiently as possible while increasing the fertility of my soil rather than continually degrading the environment with chemicals and unnecessarily wasting precious resources. I was guided by ecology action in their grow bio-intensive approach to mini-farming which uses small-scale organic backyard garden non-mechanized food raising techniques to promote abundance and sustainability using their method.
Gardeners used drastically less water less energy and no added fertilizer while increasing yields considerable building soil fertility and creating a healthily sustainable mini-ecosystem to limit the number of natural resources required and to automate the growing process. I drafted backyard plants to install a rainwater harvesting system over the course of a few weekends. I built a platform capable of capturing 110 gallons of clean rainwater that feeds a gravity drip irrigation system controlled by an automatic timer the energy and resource free system waters 125 square foot fruit vegetable and herd.
Even if I am gone for weeks at a time. Organic backyard gardening requires rich fertile soil. So I allocated over two-thirds of total growing space to plant dream manure compost crops. I designed and built the garden comprised of four deep dugs raised beds and a brick herb planter both from repurposed aged bricks and flagstone for my rainwater harvesting system. I built a five-foot-tall platform. Which supplies around two to two and a half pounds per square inch of pressure to start.
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I built a basic yard foundation capable of supporting a roughly 850 pounds of lumber barrels and water. I then built a solid platform on a four by fours and two by twos. I installed a switch to turn the system on and off the downspout designed a first flush filter to remove debris. Before it has a chance to enter the tanks plug at the bottom drains the filter.
Once the first flush fills and debris dropped to the bottom the accumulated water rises and flows to enter the first tank. I used two food 55-gallon barrels source for $10 each on craigslist an inline connection between the tanks fills the booth at once allowing for the greatest continual water pressure to the outlet valve. I used a one-inch pipe tap to create female threads in the bottom of each tank and attach one-inch PVC male threads to 1-inch piping with silicone glue for a watertight seal the barrels are closed to prevent any debris from entering or promoting mosquito breeding grounds.
I installed overflow pipes to flush excess water after the tanks fill. I have built the PVC piping into the platform structure for strength and a clean design a 1-inch ball valve controls the flow of the water. The ball valve is first connected to an automatic timer that works regardless of water pressure which flowers into a 200 mesh tea filter and then into the poly tubing. Finally, I tap the bow to insert a nozzle to fill a watering can well as a clear tube gage showing. the fill level in gallons the poly tubing flows down under the flagstone and off to each of the 4 raised beds in the brick planter aside from two double-a batteries to control the auto timer the system requires absolutely no energy as it works entirely based on gravity at the end of each of the backyard garden beds. I installed a tee been connected to poly tubing and a ball valve to separately control the flow of water to each bed to complete the system.
I install a low-flow rain barrel soaker hose that’s made of 100% recycled tires rainwater is clean and chlorine free the timer allows me to water small amounts multiple times a day. Even when I am not it provides a slow and constant trickle of water directly to the base of the plants and roots also it prevents evaporation and limits the amount of water needed.
Backyard garden ideas with planters
Raised Deep bed Planters
My next task involved building the raised beds although a wooden border is not necessary for raised bed gardening. I wanted backyard gardening to look good as well as be functional. I used untreated cedar notching the plank ends and pinning them together with steel rods. I did not use pressure-treated lumber as it contains toxic chemicals. I have dug out my formerly prized Kentucky bluegrass and set it aside. I dug down 2 feet deep removing roots and rocks digging out each bed took between 4 and 6 hours. I spaced the beds far enough apart to fit a small. Wheel barrel and situated them to maximize the sunlight. I made a trip out to a farm and acquired over a ton of free horse manure via craigslist. When building the beds back up I buried the sod and added layers of soil horse manure compost and peat moss.
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I laid the drip hose and connected it to the irrigation system raised bed gardening for backyard gardening offers many advantages. As the beds need to be filled it’s easy to control the soil conditions by amending with compost and peat moss. The loose growing medium allows for intensive planting. The roots can easily grow straight down instead horizontally competing for space. This results in much higher yields in a smaller area also intensive planting crowds out. The backyard garden so there’s practically no weeding involved. The raised beds warm up faster expanding. The grow season by a week or two and promoting overall faster growth maintenance is made easier as there’s less bending over to plant mulch and harvest better drainage improves root development and allows higher control of water. Finally raised bed gardening offers a clean attractive design for backyard gardening.
Brick herb planter
I decided to reuse some old bricks to build an herb planter for backyard gardening. I dug down ate it just leveled a surface based on the size of my plants a mixed in poured a concrete foundation ensuring. It was level and square all around. I built up each course by applying mortar on top of and in between each brick. I left multiple drainage faces on the sides of the bottom rows and a space to install the drip irrigation posts. I built up the rest of the planter continually ensuring. It was level square and true. I left roughly one inch between the planter and the wall and installed folded metal flashing a row from the top. Which I sealed against the wall to prevent any water from entering the space. I laid a final row of bricks on top of the flashing. I used a hammer and a chisel and I cut a clean row of flagstones to serve as the capstones for the planet. I cut 45-degree angles to frame out the corners nicely and more. Did it all in place.
Watch backyard gardening grow!
Every aspect of my backyard garden was a tremendous success and yielded enormous amounts of organics fresh produce the rainwater harvesting system worked perfectly and my dank compost created a rich fertile growing medium here is a time-lapse from May 15th to August first.
I started the majority of my backyard plats indoors in the spring then transplanted them outside based on the tolerance of each variety all told. I planted 45 varieties of fruits vegetable nerves additionally. I planted a dozen types of additives. I planted a dozen types of compost crops including veg rye wheat fava beans blue lupine blue lupine and others. My most productive plants were the San Marzano tomatoes. I yielded over 115 pounds which were eaten sauced and canned. I made a few mistakes along the way. I learned a great deal about using resources efficiently growing a great deal of food without any added pesticides and/or chemicals.
Now that the work of building the backyard garden is complete next year’s garden will be easier even more productive. I hope my experience has been educational and that everyone uses their own backyard to grow food that is good for the health of your body and the environment.