est. 2007

Whitewater Township, Ohio, United States
My wife Julie and I purchased our property in June 2007. Our home sits on seven acres of hillside overlooking the Whitewater River valley in western Hamilton County, Ohio roughly 20 miles west of Cincinnati. The property is well wooded and boasts a pond of about 1/5th acre. Our professional careers dictate we live in Hamilton County, which makes a country setting a bit difficult to find in a county of almost 1 million people. We share the property with our son Casey (3 1/2), and a herd of domesticated animals including 2 dogs, 3 cats, 3 parrots, and 4 Blue Swedish ducks, 10 Buff Orpington chickens, not to mention my oldest hobby aquarium fish.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Garden Update

My garden has been in for about 2 1/2 weeks now, and the battle with the Gallant Soldier weed continues. Last years garden was dismal failure, due in part to the woeful state of my clay based soil which no cover crop, compost or amendment has yet to improve. The other issue last year was the invasion of Gallant Soldier. It came up quite literally as a carpet and I was never able to eridicate it completely. I put about a 12" layer of straw on top of it which helped some, but it eventually came up through it. I didn't even get enough cucumbers to justify canning any pickles and the tomatos were almost as bad, I made one batch of salsa. No green beans and my onions were pitiful.
This year I'm hoping for more success. I noticed the weeds starting to come up again and today, before they could set any seed, I laid down 50# biodegradable builders paper over the whole garden as best I could and covered that with about 12" of straw. I'll continue adding organic matter on top of the straw throughout the year and hopefully that will improve my soil for next year as well. Finding enough organic goodies will be the issue.
I also planted a Pink Reliance grape plant 2 years ago and trained it as suggested by a couple of books I've read. This is its third summer and I have quite a few bunches of grapes on the plant. I can only hope the birds don't get to them before I do.