Bed 7

After having added Fox Farm Planting Mix (1 cu. ft./25 sq. ft.), having single-dug, and de-weeded, previously, of course, I sowed the following: two varieties of garlic, “Elephant” garlic, which, evidently, is ideal for roasting whole in the oven, “New York” yellow onions, and leeks. I’ve learned through the years that it’s important to purchase only as many starts as you are capable of planting immediately! (Otherwise, they dry out and go to compost). Just like logging my food intake daily, buying only what I can immediately plant is a work in progress–but, I am getting better!


I transplanted several varieties of kale (from Harmony Farm Supply) behind the lettuces already in Bed 7. Notice the bird netting protecting all of the tender leafy young starts. Without the bird netting, these tender leafy greens would be decimated in no time by the hungry local bird population!

Lettuces, Brusssels Sprouts, Radishes

Bed 7 as of 24 November 2013
Bird netting is in place, to protect the tender young starts.

Bed 7 Sweet Corn

Bed 7 Sweet Corn 25 July 2011

After weeding by Michael, single-digging, and mixing in 8 cu. ft. of home-made compost, I transplanted these sweet corn started from seed. All of this corn from a single cob!

Bed 7: Fully planted

Here is Bed 7 after a hard day’s work, fully planted with 58 “Green Zebra” tomatoes I grew from seed I saved, and 2 “Pineapple” tomatoes purchased from Andy’s from “Oldies but Goodies.” They are spaced 15-inches apart.  To prepare this bed, I sifted 9 x 5 gallon buckets of weed compost (= 6 cu. ft.); spread the compost on the bed’s soil and sprinkled the following soil amendments, as per Timberleaf Soil Testing Sevice’s Report No. 27447, Sample ID 2-10, dated 25 April 2010: 12 oz. Ag Lime; 11.5 oz gypsum; 2.5 oz sulfur and 0.4 oz Fertibor (boron).  After sprinkling, I mixed all these into the top 6 inches of the soil with a spading fork, and proceeded to transplant my tomato starts.

Bed 7: Before planting

Bed7_23jan09_after_weedingHere is a picture of Bed 7 after de-weeding it. This took me several hours on 3 separate days, since the weeds were so thick, I had to pull them by hand in order not to injure the still relatively young onion plants.

Bed7_after_mulching_24jan09Drove to Larsen Feed to purchase rice straw to mulch the onion bed (and for new bedding for the chicken coop, but that’s another story). Take home lesson: ALWAYS MULCH ONIONS!!!

Our “No Worries Mini-Farm” consists of 10 5′ x 20′ growing beds, of which 6 are gopher-proofed. By that, I mean my husband, Michael, excavated each of these down 2 feet, covered the excavated pit with 1/2 inch galvanized “hardware cloth”, sewed the seams together with galvanized wire, stapled these to the redwood 4-inch x 4  inch posts, which, themselves, are attached to redwood beams that rise about 1 foot above the ground. Gophers do not get into these beds!

Bed 7 as of 20 January 2009Here, you see our Bed 7, as of 20 January 2009.  It is currently planted with about 4 or 5 varieties of onions (seedlings obtained from Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, during their Fall Plant Sale), some kale, and broccoli at the far end.  The job now is to de-weed the bed! I’m learning that one *must* mulch around onions to deter weeds. Also, a California poppy is a “weed” in this bed.  The poppy will be transplanted to another portion of the garden (probably near the stately old Granny Smith tree, where there are other poppies already). Stay tuned for the “after” picture of Bed 7.