Saturday, March 5, 2011

Plotting for a Garden

As spring is approaching, Robyn and I have been plotting.  It feels a bit like conspiring. In a month or so the swingset we inherited when we bought the house will come down.  This leaves a nice partitioned off area that, on the surface, looks perfect for a back yard garden.  
  • we don't have to pull up the grass
  • great sunlight
  • easy access and view from the house
Perfect right?

Unfortunately not. The problem we are encountering in our preparation is a dying black walnut tree.  Black walnut trees produce a chemical called juglone that is toxic to several plants, namely tomatoes and peppers. At the moment I could care less about eggplant, potatoes and a few others.   Squash, corn and a few others are tolerant. Although the tree is dying, I don't think that will help the plants that would be there, as the toxins stay in the ground well after the tree has been removed. 

Through a few different means, there are a few possibilities open to us: 
  • use a raised garden, we were planning on using/ adding some new soil anyway
  • re-use an old car-carrier as an embedded container to isolate the effected plants from the dangerous toxins
  • not plant anything that would be effected by it
We shall see.  I don't think I'll plot out how we will put the plants into the ground until after we decide how this will go.  Of course, we first need to start the seedlings.  Which will be soon.  Very soon.

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