Garden at May 6 2021

Garden at May 6, 2021

Second post of my second season growing in my suburban backyard in Rochester NY – Zone 6b. You can find the first one here. I am recording my garden this summer just to show you how uncomplicated it can be to grow vegetables in a suburban backyard. I will be updating regularly throughout the growing season with videos on YouTube and slightly more detailed blog posts like this. You can follow me on YouTube here and sign up for my newsletter below.

In the video I talk a little about the spring flooding of my garden beds. My grass in the backyard is actually squishy in the spring there is so much water. This means that the garden beds, because they are slightly below the level of the grass, become giant puddles everytime it rains, or snows. I know that last year this excess water was gone by the end of May, so I’m not too concerned. My garden back at the farm also had spring puddles. Things like onions and garlic that were already planted made it through just fine. I am a little concerned that the seeds that I started in the ground already might be affected, but I’m choosing to wait and see.

Ideally, I would raised the level of the soil in my beds so that they are not depressed below the level of the grass. I had planned to do this over time just by continuing to add organic matter as mulch. Depending on how well those seeds I planted do I may add some soil from other areas of the yard (we are doing lots of earth moving) to the garden beds. If I wasn’t so lazy and cheap I might buy bags of organic soil to add to the beds to raise them up. But first, I will wait and see how those seeds do.

If you are concerned about your own garden beds needing to be raised – consider how squishy your grass really is. Do you actually have a water problem like we do? All the water from our front yard is directed into the backyard and right behind the fence at the back of the yard is a catch basin that collects the storm water from all the surrounding yards. So we really have a low wet yard. When we planted our fruit trees we did our best to raise them slightly so they wouldn’t have wet feet. We likely should have done that with our blueberries as well. However, the raspberries, currants and rhubarb are doing fine.

I am more concerned about the fact that we have such a wet backyard in terms of our sump pump rather than the plants. We are working on ways to fix the drainage in the backyard as a whole rather than freaking about the garden beds.

So don’t stress about puddles hurting your veggies. Wait and see.

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