My Great Outdoors: Jes's Suburban Farm

Name: Location: Type of space: Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: We bought the house 13 months ago, and I could not wait to start gardening. The yard had good bones, including great fruit trees, but had been completely neglected for the last couple of years. It is definitely a work in progress, as we're having a really hard time maintaining any semblance of a lawn. I really wanted to grow edibles as well so we turned the side yard into what I jokingly refer to as the "farm". I have also expanded the edibles into the backyard in wine barrels and even planted pumpkins in the front. I love being able to grow things that I can't buy, especially squash blossoms and poha berries.How did you create it? My handy husband did most of the construction on the "farm" and pond. The farm is all raised beds, built from redwood. It was pretty spendy, but we wanted something that would last. It is sort of a "square foot" garden. The pond we build above ground to deter the raccoons from invading and the dogs from swimming. The redwood top makes a good seating area for parties.

Recommended store, site, product or resource? I grew all my veggies from seed this year and the heirloom selection online is amazing. I really like Gary Ibsen's Tomato Fest for their selection. I followed the planting directions from Love Apple Farms this year and my tomatoes are twice the size they were last year at this time. Also for tropicals, my Mom in Hawaii always sends me home with cuttings, as well as my gardening friends. Learning how to grow from cuttings and/or seed makes everything a lot less expensive.

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