There have been a few reader questions regarding the potager design at our new home. So, I am writing up a little summer potager garden tour to answer those questions.
I also tried a few different gardening methods this year and I’ll cover those more in depth in a future post. So there has been a lot of hard work in getting this garden established.
But it isn’t finished. A really good garden takes many years to develop and that is part of the enjoyment in creating a garden that is partially a sanctuary at home.
Potager Garden Summer Tour – Year 1
We have been at this new home for two years and this is the first year of successfully gardening. Last year I planted the potager garden and a really bad storm destroyed it. But I replanted with transplants. And then a tornado came and destroyed it again.
Not only that, it took my beloved greenhouse that my husband and late father in law built together. It was pretty devastating. It also wiped out our first orchard that we planted and my beautiful magnolia tree.
I felt a little bit discouraged and a bit disgusted about the loss of the greenhouse more than anything because of my husband and my father in law’s hard work. And so I kind of gave up the garden for the rest of last year.
But I am reminded of the Bible verse, “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord” – Job 1:21
And I am blessed & grateful that the storm wasn’t stronger and our family is safe and sound! It’s ok though, we will rebuild the greenhouse some day!
This year, I decided to get back out and create a new potager garden. There is still a lot of work to do, but I’m very pleased with year one of the new design.
Many of the plants are thriving and the corn is currently taller than I am!
where would you like to start?
Designing the Potager
We have been through a few home moves over the years. And so I’ve been very adaptable with the potager garden design over the years.
This year, I wanted to start small and it has evolved a bit larger than I anticipated. And there is still much more work to do! I will write further updates and changes in additional posts over time.
We will be adding more raised beds this fall in preparation for next spring.
Here are a few process shots of building the new potager garden.
One of the biggest challenges that we are facing with building this garden in this space is creating a garden over what was previously cattle pasture.
And we live in the Sandhills area of Nebraska, so the soil is sandy and takes a lot of amendment to make plants grow successfully.
I know that this image above is not much to look at and it is far from perfect garden designing. But I used old fence posts to give a rough layout of where the beds would go.
I did most of this work by myself with children running around so I didn’t use any powered equipment or tractors to level the ground.
After I laid out my garden beds, I used cardboard underneath to help with killing the grass, weeds, and seeds from the pasture. And then I combined compost and organic soil to fill the beds.
One of the garden methods that I tested out this year is the no dig method. And it is one that I will use for all of the garden beds in the future. It is a lot of work at the beginning, but I have saved a lot of time in weed maintenance in all of the no dig beds.
And here’s the progress…
This is the progress that I’ve made for early summer. As things start to fill in, I’m sure that I will have more updated posts of the potager growth.
And I have big plans to extend the garden space a little more over time, so stay tuned for those. I do share updates and photos regularly on Instagram, if you’re on that platform.
These raised bed have brassicas and leafy greens. The middle raised bed is onions and carrots companion planted. And the foreground image is part of the herb garden beds. I’ve already begun to harvest the cabbage bed and we are getting ready for our fall garden plans.
The herbs are harvested regularly and I will start to dry more of them soon to preserve for spices and tea blends.
While it will take some time for the roses and some of the pretty perennials to grow, I have added in my favorite annuals – snap dragons and sweet peas for fillers. But I’m pretty sure that I will continue to add these varieties to all future potager garden plans! Because they are some of my favorite flowers.
The sweet peas are performing exceptionally well and I’ve filled my vases around the house several times already!
In the larger area of the garden, we are growing melons and pumpkins. It is hard to maintain the weeds in this area because we only cleared the brush initially.
And next to it, we have cattle panels turned into climbing arches for our cucumbers, cucamelons, and morning glories.
Behind the arches are part of the pasture and we are still working on putting up fencing. It’s about halfway up!
You’ll notice that they are not perfect arches. This is because these are used cattle panels that the cattle destroyed and my husband salvaged for me. They are no longer useable for the cows, but work just fine for vegetables to grow!
I love finding a way to repurpose things!
Another part of the potager where I have an arch and is a work in progress is the Mary garden.
I have morning glory seeds beginning to climb the arch on one side and a Passion flower on the other side. Eventually these will be replaced with David Austin climbing roses.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little summer potager garden tour. This is just the progress of year one, it will continue to evolve over the years.
I’ll be back soon with more updates from the potager!