A Garden of My Own! (?)

I found my current apartment in Burbank because my landlord is also my horseback riding instructor.  She owns a few adjacent rental properties near the stables, including my building, and a guest cottage behind my apartment building's parking lot.  

Today we were chatting at the stables, and I mentioned that on Sunday night I'm going to another one of the film screening and potlucks hosted by Path to Freedom.  When she heard that I was interested in vegetable gardening, she encouraged me to convert the yard of the guesthouse into a garden!  Apparently anything that is currently dirt and not grass is fair game - how exciting!

I went to scope out the current state of the yard, and the available area for vegetable gardening is quite sizable:

There is also a small area abutting the cottage where I would like to set up a composter and maybe some planters with herbs:

I have a few concerns - namely my own lack of experience - but also the abundance of shade.  The entire garden area is lined with beautiful, mature trees, shown below.  While I personally prefer shade to sunlight, I'm not sure that most vegetables would feel the same way.  Also, while there aren't very many weeds on the ground right now, I suspect it's because the soil is thin and hard.  Putting in raised beds might be a good solution, but I will have to do some research on where to get low-cost building materials and soil.  I have seen ads for free dirt on craigslist before.  Now my Bokashi will be put to use right at my own home!

Unfortunately, even though I have immediate access to an abundant supply of horse manure and bedding - a highly compostable mix - I don't intend to use it for garden compost at this time.  Stabled horses take medications, supplements, and anti-parasitic boosters that would linger in the manure, and possibly also in the the vegetables that grow in the compost.  


D. S. Foxx said...

Ooh! Lucky, lucky you. Look at all that space. --sighing with envy--

There are a number of vegetables that can handle partial shade, more if you're willing to venture beyond the standards. Frex, in CA, you should be able to find miner's lettuce, a leafy green that will grow in full shade.


JMC said...

Thanks for the suggestion! I admire your blog, and am always happy to hear from you :)