Of course, I didn't do the rational thing. I tried to sneak in a few raised beds.
This spring, we did a total do-over. I ended up moving two of the three old raised beds. Here is what it looked like when I started.
Good help is really hard to find these days....... Anyway, I decided that the raised beds were too close together so we straightened them out and made the paths wider. We also either put down that black weed barrier or cardboard and then mulched it with wheat straw.
I just gave up on having chickens at the house. They just lured in the varmints and the dogs barked all night. I moved the pens and the bantams over to the barn and we are all much happier.
It very quickly became obvious that my dogs were really enjoying having a nice soft place to bury their treasures and to lounge around on. At night, the deer roamed through the yard and enjoyed having a snack provided. We used cattle panels to enclose it and then had to go back and add a layer of chicken wire around the bottom to keep out the marauding hordes of rabbits.
I ran out of money and dirt to build more raised beds so we went with a large area of conventional row type garden. I had been tempted to sell my tiller but I am glad now that I kept it.
This is what it looked like this morning. I haven't gotten the whole thing mulched but I like it so much that I plan to work on getting the rest done.......... soon. In my spare time....
Left to right : Crowder peas in rows, raised bed of sweet potatoes and some kind of vine that I planted and forgot, young pepper plants, monster tomato plants.
Rows of green beans that are keeping me pretty darn busy. I do have a soaker hose irrigating all of the rows. I fiddled around and let the plants in the raised beds get too big. Now I can't get the soaker hose in there with out doing alot of damage. I water all that stuff by hand which does marvelous things for my blood pressure and gives me something to do as the sun is rising.