Friday, December 30, 2011

Garden Expansion and How to Remove a Tree Stump - Part 1

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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.


Luis Tobon said...

Finding more gardening room is always great. I'm planning on doing a lot of work this weekend on my mini farm. I will trying some intense gardening. I hope to have better harvests than last year.


Ed said...

I'm planning on expanding my garden area as well. No trees to deal with, I just have to figure out where to relocate 20+ daylilies.

I had the same problem with maples when i lived in NJ. They were fine when they and the garden were small. Ten years later they became the perennial bane of my garden existance.

Lookkng forward to seeing the progress of the new area!

Crafty Cristy said...

Hard work to remove a stump, but worth it.

I am thinking of expanding my garden, but nothing along the line of yours: just add another SFG 4 x 4 bed. Baby steps, right? :)

Kris said...

Luis - It is good to hear from you. You were the first person to follow my blog when I started. :) It seems like every gardener always wants to do a little more than the year before.

Ed - Red maples are one of my favorite trees. I was surprised how big mine got in 8 short years. Maybe you can move your daylilies near your pool area.

Cristy - I hope I am not taking on more than I can handle. I have 6 SFG beds and I love them, but I want a larger area to grow peas and butter beans. I just hope it is worth it. I would also suggest making a 4X8 bed. I have 3 4X4's and 3 4X8's. The 4X8's are good for growing corn among other things.

Crafty Cristy said...

Thanks. That is a good suggestion. I have been talking with my husband about how much more of the yard he will let me have and have been pushing for 4 x 8's. I think the 4 x 4's seem a little small to get a real harvest from.

And I hope to have corn this year. I have my seed.

Kris said...

You can get about 50 ears of corn per 4x8 bed, at least that is what I have been getting. I think you can convince him once he tastes the corn. :)

Stacey Beck said...

Thanks for all the advice. We have a stump that has been in the middle of the yard for a couple years now and I'm ready for it to be gone. I'm going to have to try this, or maybe call tree removal in Boston.

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Jordo Beats said...

Interesting approach. I'm dealing with a similar issue, so I'll definitely reading more...