A Back to Eden garden tour 2021.
Choosing a location for our “Back to Eden Garden”
I recently discovered the “Back to Eden Gardening Method” and was so excited to try it out.
When we bought our cabin on 7 acres in early 2021, we pretty much had a blank slate to work with.
I tried my hardest to figure out where the sun would be at what time and the lay of the land before picking my garden spot.
I wanted my garden to be close enough to the house that it could be watered but also in a place where it could be seen.
Once I chose the spot for my garden, I used a push mower to mow down the grass and weeds. I tried to get it as close to the ground as possible. Then I used the back to Eden garden method and layered newspaper, compost and wood chips.
Designing the garden
I wanted to have lots of dimension and texture going on in our garden so I made some raised beds from old barn wood as well as just from some logs we had lying around.
I built an arch for our grape vines but it was very unstable so I tore it down and my husband and I replaced it with a homemade trellis from cattle panels.
I also wanted some things growing directly from the ground. The back to eden garden method really addresses the fertility of the soil so I wanted to take full advantage of that.
What’s growing in our Back to Eden garden.
Spread throughout the garden, directly in the ground are mostly tomatoes, peppers and flowers.
I bought my tomato and pepper plants from our local amish market. I tried growing them from seeds indoors but that didn’t work out too well for me. It turns out that my lighting situation was off.
I also bought a stevia plant and rhubarb from the amish market as well. It took the stevia a bit to adjust but it is now growing in full and doing well.
The rhubarb did not seem to adapt well and completely quit growing when I put it in the ground. I’m not sure if it needs more sun or just didn’t do well with the transplant. I just discovered recently that it is growing a bit taller though. Maybe there is still hope!
My flowers are located on the outskirts of the garden. I mainly picked this place because it was empty. I love the colors they brought to the garden as well as the pollinators. I would love to have bees one day so I want to get a good flower setup ready for their arrival.
I used different sized raised beds from scrap material.
In my smaller raised bed I have zucchini, cucumbers and sunflowers. This garden bed was a bit of a trial and error bed because I had very little compost left to put in it. There may be an inch of compost in there and 2-3 inches of wood chips on top.
I was honestly a bit surprised that the plants grew big despite the little amount of soil. I’ve picked off a few cucumbers and one zucchini so far. My sunflowers are nice and tall and I am anticipating their beautiful blooms soon.
In my largest raised bed, I planted cabbage, carrots, arugula, corn, zucchini, broccoli and loofa. Out of all of those, the only ones to survive have been the carrots, arugula, corn and loofa. I’ve since learned that the cabbage I planted was probably planted a bit too late and the slugs and cabbage worms decided to make their home there.
The stacked log raised beds have Japanese oriental yams on one side and the other has pickling cucumbers growing up a trellis. I have already harvested white potatoes out of the one bed and replaced them with the oriental yams.
In the right bed I had about 6 cauliflower plants. They were doing great until the cabbage worms and slugs decided to take over them as well. This was my first time growing cruciferous vegetables so I have a bit of learning to do before the next try.
Fruits and herbs in our Back to Eden garden tour 2021
In the middle of our garden, you can walk down a path and see our grape vines curling along the cattle panel. I’m not sure if we will get any grapes this year or not but I cannot wait to get our first harvest.
Our herbs are growing in a container I found on the property when we moved in. It looks like a huge jug that was cut in half. It already had dirt and leaves in it so I just used what was in there. The surprise frost got my first round of herbs so I replanted cilantro and dill and they seem to be doing great. I’ve already used the dill for homemade dill pickles!
Strategically placed around the garden and throughout as well are our fruit trees and bushes. We have 4 apple trees (2 of those were gifts), 1 peach tree, strawberry plants, 2 blueberry bushes and 2 raspberry bushes. One of the raspberry bushes got mowed down but I expect it to make a full recovery next year.
Last but not least are the pumpkin vines and watermelon vines that are springing up. Those were planted last and I’m not sure if they were planted too late or not. We will see come end of the summer if we get anything. I figured we could at least try.
My dream for this garden
My dream for this garden is for it to be some what of a “cottage” theme. I want things growing together with only enough space to weave in and out while I pick our vegetables.
I would also love to have a sitting space one day so I can come and sit in the garden to relax, talk to God and enjoy the blessings growing in front of me.
My children have loved helping me pick the vegetables. Their favorite thing to do is pick off a few leaves from the stevia plant and eat it straight from it. I love that they are getting to experience this while growing up.
Each year I try to grow new things in the garden. I have some great successes as well as failures. It’s all a part of the learning journey.
Watch the video of our back to eden garden tour 2021 on our YouTube channel!
I want to know what’s growing in your garden!
Are you growing something new in your garden this year? I’d love to know what it is!
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