Last Week in One-Hour Gardening

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Apple, peach, and plum trees, with Casey the dog as scale.

A few weeks ago, I introduced my idea to quantify my gardening hours this year so people can understand how much or little time it takes to grow a majority of one’s own food. I’m calling it hour-a-day gardening, because that’s the goal: spending an average of an hour a day in the garden and processing and preserving food. Because this is only our first year with the garden plots cleared, I am having to spend extra time building infrastructure, planting fruit trees, and preparing beds.

This Last Week

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Perimeter currant starts along the fenceline, marked with orange flagging tape.

Finally the snow has gone and the unseasonably cold temperatures have warmed. I spent two days turning over beds and planting peas, turnips, parsnips, carrots, radishes, beets, lettuce, onions, kohl rabi, mustard, and rhubarb. I spent time planting fruit trees and bushes, as well as pruning the raspberry bushes. Even with all that work, I was only at 1:25 hours per day when averaged out over the week.

One trick I want to mention is the use of a pipe for creating seed rows. In one of the below photos, I’ve raked over a bed and used a pipe to make a 1/2-in-deep depression. I spread my beet seeds and then cover them up. This pipe helps keep the row straight and seeds planted at a uniform depth.

I’ve also been working on infrastructure. Part of that is laying down mulched paths through the garden. This helps keep me off the beds when I’m moving around and reduce the weed load. I am also continuing work on a greenhouse and was able to get the roof built and up on posts while I create the earth-bag walls in relative comfort below.

Daily Hours


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