Our latest client’s garden is in a somewhat unlikely location – Wimberly and the rugged Texas Hill County. Known for its abundant limestone rock, Anne picked her location with gardening in mind and the century-plus homestead is along the banks of Pierce Creek near the Blanco River. It has beautiful alluvial soil just right for growing lots of vegetables, fruit trees and berries.
When Anne bought the place she knew she some day wanted to have her own personal mini-farm. What she didn’t know was Hurricane Ike was going to punch a great big hole in her house in downtown Houston and hasten her move to Wimberly. While Anne still misses her house in Houston she’s bringing her green thumb and whatever plants she can salvage to central Texas.
However, the growing conditions here are very different than the humid Gulf Coast and after going it alone last year Anne knew she wanted some help with her garden planning and bed preparation. While she had some luck last year with tomatoes, basil and watermelon other crops just didn’t take off. In December Bohemian Bounty visited with Anne and toured her amazing garden plot. She’s already had a seven foot fence installed to keep out what is her number one pest – deer. The area covers about an acre and is partially shaded by a massive pecan tree and a small orchard of fig, mulberry, apple and peach trees.
With Anne’s desire for a mini-farm in mind Jen designed a plan that incorporates 2 main garden areas composed of multiple narrow 4-foot wide linear beds, accessible by 2-foot wide foot paths throughout. In total, when fully planted out this personal farm encompass 1,440 square feet of bedding space! And that’s not including the 10-foot x 6-foot raised box built to hold Anne’s raspberry brambles. Yes, Anne is determined to grow raspberries which she grew up enjoying in Ohio. Jen included a 3 year suggestion for plant rotation emphasizing companion planting and cover crops to capture some nitrogen which is low in the soil.
Anne was thrilled with the plan and took Jen’s advice to start with only one large bed and the raspberry box. Anne wanted to be hands-on and do all the planting and we are all for everyone getting dirty so in one day we prepared the first of four bedding areas. The bed prep work included measuring, flagging, tilling, rock and weed removal, incorporation of compost and cottonseed meal, mulching and the building of raised cedar box. Anne was planting vegetable seeds, transplants from Houston and her raspberry brambles by the end of the day!
It was a long, hard day of work at the mini-farm but Anne’s neighbors were already stopping by making requests for her first summer tomatoes. What a great new addition to Wimberly! – James