Introducing the South Eastern Louisiana Garden

Welcome to South Eastern Louisiana!

I have decided to put up some pictures of my garden as it has progressed. It is the very first thing that I worked to establish this first year living on our homestead in Bush, Louisiana. We purchased the property March of 2013 and I immediately started putting the rogue hoe to use. We have learned an incredible amount about annual gardening with a permaculture bent and here are some pictures that show the transition throughout most of the “varied” seasons of Louisiana (Early Summer, Summer, More Summer, and Late Summer).

March

Here are the very first beds! Looking back wow so much has changed.

The very first bed

The first beds!
This is a horrible way to do tomatoes (two end poles with twine strung horizontally and tying up each plant as they grow). While I can’t say that it didn’t work, it was a monumental pain in the butt to maintain and continue to stake up. Never again…..

April

There wasn’t much more going on in these photos. Just a bit of progress.
April Garden 2

April Garden
We built some more beds and put in better paths and water flow systems. Looking back, man it was so incredibly tight and clean. We hadn’t hit the real growing season where everything turns into a jungle. (Summer Summer).

May

May was when the garden was really rocking!
May Garden

Lots of squash!
Lots of big large tomatoes were on the vines and we were pulling an incredible amount of squash out of the garden. The peppers were just starting to come out as well.

Squash galore!
Unfortunately every bit of these productive plants were completely destroyed by bugs. Without a doubt it was the most demoralizing thing this year.

May Garden

This dog just can’t get enough tomatoes.

Garden in May/June

 

August

The tater bed

You can see some major major changes to the garden by early August. We took out most of the tomatoes, and I removed every single squash related plant in the entire garden. Those darn squash bugs ruined a good thing. However, by this point the peppers really started coming through. We would just pull tons and tons of peppers off. The best of which were the sweet peppers. Also note the absence of the corn from May. It was delicious. Very delicious.

 

I also finally got in quite a bit of cover crops to use and had planted the sweet potato bed with buckwheat. I personally think I let the buckwheat stay there too long and it held the sweet potato at bay for awhile, but once it was removed man, the taters took off!

August Garden

The Garden Today (September 25th, 2013)

The Garden and Me
Its the garden and I; a little wiser with a longer beard and hair!

The Garden and Me 2

The Garden

Keyhole BedHere is a volunteer “zucchini green/yellow squash”. Its obviously a mix between a zucchini and a yellow squash. Tasted good enough for me. This bed is becoming established with my current cover crop mixture. To the bottom right is Swiss chard.

Cover Crops
I am REALLY digging this cover crop mixture. It does so well. Cowpea has officially become my favorite Southern Loozianan Crop. Where everything else has failed, this guy has succeeded. This isn’t the particular variety we have been eating but I suspect its putting some good nitrogen into this soil. I also have daikon and some buckwheat in there.

Sweet Potato
The sweet potato bed is kicking butt, even though an Armadillo decided to have fun in it…

The big beds
Here are all the big beds.

Peppers
This is pepper alley. Theres quite a number of them, and these plants did really well.

Peppers 2

Until next time!
Cheers


10 thoughts on “Introducing the South Eastern Louisiana Garden

  1. Christine

    Yes many a tasty veg has been used so far. 😀 And yes Jazz is obsessed with eating rotten tomatoes and peppers. I think soon I will have to do a post on him.

  2. Eddie

    That’s it man, let that beard fly. It’s like Duck Dynasty! Dude, that’s so Louisiana, isn’t it? These are some nice pictures man, I enjoyed looking at them all. You get the feeling of what it’s like out there. Nice house, it has character. No fire place though? I guess it doesn’t really get too cold down there does it? The bugs will always be a bitch to deal with. Meet human’s chief competitor for food, throughout history…

    So, you’re rotating crops throughout the year? One plant is supposed to replenish the part of the soil that the previous plant took out. I just don’t know anything about the order…

    1. Mike Post author

      Thanks!
      I hear the duck dynasty thing quite a bit haha. I haven’t seen TOO many people down here with a big beard. My aunt used to call me ZZ Top.

      Gardening in Louisiana is definitely very different than in other places, particularly Southern Louisiana. In some ways its much better, and others not so much. Its not nearly as hot as other places in the US in the summer (definitely never got to 100 this year) and it obviously doesn’t get nearly as cool. I mean even Northern Louisiana is much cooler in the winter time than where we are at. The bugs are definitely some sort of issue here. I’m still not 100% sure that my bug issue is the same as other people because I’ve definitely heard a lot of other people just not having much of an issue. I used a bunch of big store inputs, so I wouldn’t be surprised if i brought them here….

      We don’t have a fireplace. Most places around here actually do believe it or not. We wish we did, but alas we don’t. I think what we may end up doing is getting a wood burning stove and putting it in the living room.

      As far as crop rotation goes, I’m more or less doing the “permaculture” approach which is having as much diversity and moving around as much as possible. Some of the bigger longer term crops I won’t do again next year int he same spot (the tomatos and what not), but the others, eh, I’m not too worried about it. Crop rotation actually doesn’t have anything to do with replenishment for the most part. That would just be following a nitrogen heavy plant with a nitrogen fixer (for example). Mostly Crop rotation deals with using up different minerals over time, and with cultivation of bugs and bad fungus and the like. This next year I’ll be getting much more into planning garden space than I have this year. This year was, plant everything and see what works.

    2. Mike Post author

      Funny as heck, I didn’t recognize you still just now. haha. I saw your email address in my inbox and was like wait what?
      Have you started a garden yet or what?

    1. Christine

      Oh haha that is hilarious. But the funny thing is, the anniversary of that beard is coming up coinciding with our anniversary. I don’t think he is going to be full on shaving it off like he did for the wedding though (which I might add was his doing from no pressure from me; only a little from my grandma…).

  3. Damian

    Hey mike! Dude your garden inspires me bro! I have plans to start one bed this spring. Any suggestions? I have like zero experience with gardens. We are definitely gonna have to get together some time. You’re friendly St. Bernard prepper. -LS

    1. Mike Post author

      I would love to! Thanks for stopping by.
      Just wait till next year, its going to get crazy with what I’m planning on doing hah. I didn’t mention it in the article but obviously everything was done with my bare hands (and a rogue hoe). In general I’d say it took a little bit to setup, but in a lot of ways its on autopilot. I’m looking at incorporating animals occasionally grazing/hanging out above the garden so that it gets new fresh nutrients fairly often. Other than the massive losses in early summer I’m kind of taken back by how much stuff we produced. I didn’t even talk about eggplants. Phew we got a lot.

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