Planning a large forest garden

North Fork, CA(Zone 7b)

There are so many articles in magazines that give tips on planning a small garden. For those of us with the opposite situation, there are challenges as well as rewards. For some ideas on gardening on a large property and blending in the natural areas as well, here is a post from my blog, I'd like to share with you all.

Planning a large forest garden http://wp.me/p10S9N-xY

Sue

Thumbnail by suewylan
Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

Very pretty property. And what a lot of work you've done!

North Fork, CA(Zone 7b)

Thanks Gwendalou!

I like the name of your town! In 2008, my sister and I were driving from Vancouver, BC, to Seattle where my daughter lives. Since my last name is Langley, I wanted to go home by way of Langley, BC, so we did. I piked up a Fort Langley hat there for my DH. Then as we passed the sign saying 'To Whidbey Is. we decided to also check out Langley WA. and we did. They were having a wonderful street fair then in July, so we just passed through. I took a photo of the town sign. Nice drive and you have such a pretty area to live in!

Cheers, Sue

Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

I haven't been to Langley BC yet. You must have been here the second weekend in July because that's when we have Choochokam, the annual street fair. Fun time to be here!

Richmond, TX

What does "Choochokam" mean?

Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

Here's what they say about it on their website:

Wondering what the word "Choochokam" means? Choochokam is a Hopi word which roughly translates as "a Gathering of Stars." Our "stars," a diverse group of several hundred local artists, inspired by the early organizers to create what we now know as The Choochokam Festival of the Arts.

North Fork, CA(Zone 7b)

I was thinking you'd know when we were there! hahaha I love small towns. We live in one ourselves and there are events most weekends in the summer.

Richmond, TX

Well named!

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

I loved your forest. I live in the Ozark National Forest on 30 acres. My forest is oak,hickory,cherry,Sour gum,and dogwood.There are pines around us but not on our land.
I loved the John Muir quote and concur.
Vickie

North Fork, CA(Zone 7b)

It's difficult sometimes to know how to design a garden when the property is so large. I do like lots of gardeners do, just start near the house and plant one area after another as I find plants. Last year I had two water spigots put in farther down our slope and I know that will only encourage me! We are really on a budget, so I propagate plants and move things around to expand the garden. This year I also started wintersown seeds and I'm looking forward to planting them out. All my projects are updated on my blog and that's fun.

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Mine has turned into a conglomerate garden,kinda a cottage garden style with mostly containers. It seems to suite me. For instance i have wild fern and a wild rose along with hosta.LOL
Vickie

North Fork, CA(Zone 7b)

I'd love to see a photo, cando!

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

I don't have a camara or the puter stuff to post one. I have a friend in Texas that will post some for me when i get them to her.
Vickie

(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

I am growing a veggie garden in my woods area. also several tropical gardens in the making soon as my son gets here in June..that will be brugmansias, gingers, and several types of ferns..will post pics later the week..

North Fork, CA(Zone 7b)

Moodene, it will be interesting to see what you do with your woods area. i need to build a deer fence before planting a veggie garden. I've been talking about it for so long...when WILL I do it?! hahaha

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Sue, I was just catching up on some of these threads and ran across your lovely photos. Wish we had crossed paths about 10 years ago when we were doing some of the same things!! You have captured in words and photos what many of us have faced in trying to 'tame' a large parcel (especially after coming from a small one). Even though as some have already said, our landscapes and plants, trees, and shrubs are different, we have faced the same challenges. I had to laugh about the burn pile. Lots of lessons learned there. Like you, I learned to start from the house and move outward. Have made mistakes and changed my mind along the way, but it has gradually taken shape and grown and we've learned to live with the deer and other critters and still have vegetables from the garden. I call it the 'deer fortress'. It's really not that hard. Will send you a photo of what worked well for us last year, but it's basically a fence within a fence as deer have no depth perception. Give me a week or so to dig it up. I'll be out of the loop for a few days.

Elaine

North Fork, CA(Zone 7b)

Wow, Elaine, I'm so glad to hear that you have dealt with some of the same challenges. There are joys also moving from a suburb to the mountains. It's life in the slower lane with so much natural beauty that sustains us.

Starting a garden from scratch caused me to impatiently plant plants too close together, so as they grew I could move them out further. Last year there were so many to move, I vowed not to buy anymore for a year!. That year is up (yea!) and I've just started a new area with only native plants from my state. They are mostly written up in this new series of posts done to celebrate Caifornia Native Plant Week last week, so if anyone is from Cally, check them out. Here's the first day. http://wp.me/p10S9N-Ke

Veggies have eluded me so far because of the deer and I'd like to see what you've come up with as far as a deer fortress. I've been able to plant herbs with no problem, thyme, chives, sage, rosemary and parsley all grow fine on the patio and the deer don't bother them. hese are the ones I use every day for cooking.

This year, I found I was able to grow wildflower seeds in a tray along with some wintergrown seeds. I just set those out in a field that I've cleared of weeds. That will help in planting a large area.

Weeding a a big job with a large garden, but I take it one area at a time starting with the front where people enter! hahaha The use of mulch really helps (I can't tell you how effective this is, you have to try it yourselves!) and we have gone so far as to waylay trimming and chipping crews on the roads to ask them to dump their load of wood chips at our place. They have been glad to do so! Here's a photo of one path (our leach line) covered in mulch with a few clusters of doffodils to decorate it. When the grass grows high, my DH will weedeat it. It's wild here but these few touches do help 'tame' it a bit.

Thumbnail by suewylan
(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

Here is the link to my Dad's veggie garden that is at my place which is in the woods..
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1177159/

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Hi again, Sue,

I finally found time to go back to my photo files and find a picture of my garden fortress. This isn't the best photo, but it shows the double fence we put around the garden. DH put 2 rows of electric fence tape (not electrified) around the garden. He used the heavier steel posts for the corners but the cheap ones for the runs. It spoofs the deer into thinking there is another fence inside the other and they left it alone. This year he is putting up something more permanent for the corner posts and with a real gate now that we know it works.

Later in the fall, I could tell they would browse around the edges, but by then, the tomatoes were done and they were nibbling around the leaves of the remaining pepper plants. It's so hot and dry by then the garden was pretty ugly anyway.

I have also heard people around here have success in putting 50-lb test fishing line around their woodland gardens and using the steel reinforcing rods. You put one run about 18" from the ground and another run about 4 feet from the ground. The deer hit the line with their chest and legs and leave the tender foliage of hosta, etc alone. I swear I'm going to try it in one of my shade beds, but I've not gotten around to it yet.

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Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

How tall is that fence?

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

It is only about 4 feet tall. Those tomato cages are the Texas Tomato Cages that are 6 feet.

Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

And how far apart are the two fences?

North Fork, CA(Zone 7b)

This is a great fence and all good ideas, OutsidePlaying. It give me hope to have a veggie garden this year!

Sue

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Gwendalou, they are about 18" apart as I recall from last year. You just need to stagger the heights in the 2 runs a bit to make it give the appearance of height as the deer have no depth perception. We haven't put it up yet this year. Maybe this week. It amazed me. DH got the idea from a magazne where a big tomato grower used something very similar and cheap to fence his tomato farm.

The thing with the fishing line and the reinforced steel posts is that the posts rust and blend in eventually creating a nearly invisible fence. That's what I really like about that idea. And the veggie garden fence is easy to take down in the winter so it's really just there for the summer growing season. So if you're worried about aesthetics, you aren't putting up something really awful.

Langley, WA(Zone 7b)

I have heard about the double fence thing keeping deer out. Apparently they can jump high but they can't jump far. We are actually completely fenced but there are apparently low places where they're coming in. I've though about either putting up a higher fence over the spots where they're jumping in or putting in a second lower fence. I don't know if the taller fence in front of the lower fence would confuse them and they might try to jump it anyway.

They also supposedly won't jump a fence they can't see through so if you can get something to grow over your fence and cover it, that should work as well.

I don't think yours looks bad at all.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

We put our fence up about a week ago and I finally got out today and took a picture. The garden looks pretty good right now. It's not overgrown, the edging looks decent and the tomato plants haven't been overcome with blight or some other disease yet. I put weed barrier down between the rows and straw down for mulch the past few years which seems to work well for us. So far, so good. In fact, we were chatting with our neighbors about how we haven't seen deer around much lately. I hope we didn't just jinx ourselves, lol! Maybe they have had enough to eat out in the woods. DH put the fence row about 2 feet apart this year.

Thumbnail by OutsidePlaying

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