LOVE THE WAFFLE GARDEN idea. This is one of my favorite things I’ve learned as an apprentice. You can grow your own waffles in the garden.
HAHA – in all seriousness, this is one of the favorite things I’ve learned as an apprentice.
Waffle gardening is great for semi-arid climates. Southwestern natives used waffle gardening to help keep water where it should be, on your crops. Walls of soil surround your area and when you water or it rains, the water goes down around the plants instead of running off in all directions.
You can make your waffle whatever size you want. If you want to be able to reach in from all sides maybe no more than 4′ X 4′.
To make the waffle you will dig down and push the soil to the sides of the area to make your walls. Pat the walls to make them firm. To help keep the walls in place you can plant some creeping thyme or other ground cover. Over time this will create a nice kneeling pad as well as help keep the walls from eroding. Once you do this you will only have to maintain it once every Spring. Mix in some organic matter of your choosing. I like a nice compost for vegetable gardens. If you use manure, make sure it is not fresh and has composted for at least 180 days. Years ago Eco-li was not a big deal, but these days you need to be careful how, when and where you use manure and where you get it. The best time to put down manure is in the fall for a Spring planting. Plant your plants, water and fertilize. Easy, peasy.
To water, give them a nice soak instead of sprinkling them each day. If you’re seeding instead of planting plants you shouldn’t flood the waffle until the seeds have sprouted or they’ll get washed out of place. Once your plants have roots established you can flood the waffle for a nice soak. Watch the weather and temperature and water accordingly.
If you need to animal proof your garden you can do it like in the picture here. Sticks have been placed in a fence around the edge to make a grid animals shouldn’t like stepping in (not guaranteed to keep out rabbits who love to munch them some greens).
Allison and Matt and Jerid planted up some geraniums. Next week more plants will be added to fill out the containers. It’s not too early to put out geraniums. You just have to watch them and make sure they if it gets to cold you cover them. YOU DON’T NEED TO WAIT UNTIL MOTHER’S DAY!!
One of the apprentices also learned that Rob HATES the plastic tags in the garden or in pots. We are not a botanical garden or arboretum so we don’t need to display the names of our plants. It also looks like a graveyard with little plastic plant tag headstones. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER leave the plastic plant tag in the pot or the garden. Spend a couple of bucks and get some decorative nice tags if you must tag them so you remember what they are. Really, the plastic ones are tacky. (See Rob’s Facebook page for how he feels about the tags!!)
In other parts of the garden everyone did a little bit of cleanup and Lisa planted some Swiss Chard into a pot as a centerpiece for the waffle garden.
Get out there and get gardening!!
To catch this week’s segment, check out: http://www.9news.com/story/life/home-garden/proctors-tips/2014/04/17/waffle-gardens-water/7790369/