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For 2012, I have decided to expand my garden. I have an area in the back of my yard that is not your typical red Georgia clay. The soil is a good sandy/loamy mix, and I can easily dig down four feet because the soil is so nice.
In 2011, I worked a 4 by 25 foot strip in this area alongside my back fence. I grew a nice batch of corn, some peas, and a few tomato plants. I couldn't do any more because of a maple tree that was located near that area. I planted an October Glory red maple tree in 2003, this was long before I had ever started gardening. The tree did really well up on that hill and it was about 25 to 30 feet tall and about 15 feet wide.
It wasn't long after I planted my corn this year, that I realized this tree would keep growing and eventually shade the entire area. I hated to do it, but I cut the tree down this summer. All that remains is the stump, and I waited to do the hard task of removing it in the winter because it is just too hot in the summer.
My goal is to remove the stump, clean up all the roots, and then till the soil really well. This will allow me to expand this area from 4x25 to 16x25 of usable garden area. That is a 300% increase and will give me an additional 300 sq ft of garden area. I plan on doing traditional row gardening in this area, and I am going to plant butter beans, white acre peas, and probably a batch of corn in this area in 2012. Below are some pictures of the area, I will post my progress as I remove the stump.
This is a picture from 2010, the tree in question is in the background next to my shed. The whole area behind that rock wall used to be grass and I built the rock wall and filled the area with pine straw to cut down on the grass I had to cut. The area near the tree is relatively flat, then the ground begins to slope.
This is what remains of the tree. As you can see it is already trying to send up shoots to regrow itself. The area behind it is the 4x25 strip that I used this year. I am going to extend that passed my shed about 3 feet right passed where that bird bath is.