As I've been thinking ahead to next year's goals, I have been critically eyeballing my yard. I would like to expand my gardening square footage by at least double for 2012. Because I now have 143 sq/ft. of ground under cultivation, that means I'll need to total 286 sq/ft. What to do?
The easy victims are the planters in my front yard. Right now, they are your standard ornamental planters, complete with rosebushes, weeds, and neglect. But there is huge potential there. The advantages are that there is already a border wall, installed irrigation, and 84 sq/ft. to use. I am not sure if I'd yank up my lady rosebushes or just plant around them, because roses can be used for food too. But either way, there are an excellent candidate for conversions to food production.
I'm left now trying to pick up an extra 59 sq/ft. There are a couple of options I am toying with, and both include terrific amounts of backbreaking labor. I am not looking forward to that part, but it is the cost of doing business in these parts. Option A is to tear up a section of lawn and install a raised bed there. This would involve sod removal, border building, soil placement and building a dog fence. However, it would be irrigated and I could pick up 108 sq/ft. The other option is to use a strip of ground along the back fence the chickens have so graciously been clearing out for me. It would have all the same requirements as the first option, except with the additional disadvantages of receiving less sun, being under a pepper tree, and having reduced access from the fence side.
I am not sure what the best plan of attack is, but I have some time to mull it over and figure costs. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, if there is anyone who has any suggestions or recommendations on sod-busting or raised bed building, I'd love to hear it. If we can use recycled materials to do it too, even better! Thanks!