Backyard planting in Cedar City

Sue and I just transplanted most of the tomatoes and peppers into raised beds today. (Our duplex is in a failed subdivision hence the rocks in the backyard that had to be moved. The developer probably ran out of money so he filled the yards with rocks not grass. Yes, it was a big honking pain to move them to make room for the beds.)

We have German Striped, Moscow, Heartland, Early Girl tomatoes, and several undetermined heirloom varieties, as well as tomatillos, jalapenos, habaneros, anaheims, and more.

PS Sue is now gainfully employed and starts soon. Wa-hoo!


  1. I use old car tires for a garden beds. I call it gardening noir. Yours are…? Over plastic sheeting? In Australia under permaculture rules of green thumb we use wet newspaper.

    Since I too may be shifting I’m interested in new garden making. I would have bought the beds closer together and stacked up rocks between as a inter bed mulch. Circles are complicated design elements and I’ve found that two longer rows of circles. with edges touching (& on a rough north/south axis), are preferable and more efficient than separated circles. The gap where four circles meet is useful for single plantings of semi perennials like herbs. and the diameters are still such that you can access all parts of the bed from the side pathway.

    If I was growing chillis or tomatoes I’d also wonder if there weren’t a few rocks that may sit comfortably as mulch on the beds given your ready supply.I gather that the region isn’t going to supply a lot of biomass for mulch, so you gotta work around it and be opportunistic. So I’d reckon your kitchen garbage has to be a major resource: worm farm or compost heap. Given the absence of other greenery, I suspect worm farming looks good.

    So as well as the cats, maybe a few thousand pet ‘tigers’ — Eisenia fetida — earthworms.

    As an afterthought: using Permaculture principles, another approach would be to lay out your garden in layered rocks, then cover these walls with wet newspaper before filling the beds with soil. It’s papier mache gardening The advantage is that the newspaper holds the beds in place while they consolidate. Despite the fact that the paper will rot away, the shape prevails , just like a garden wall.

    Permaculture mandala gardens often use the paper or paper and rock method. [Example 1 , Example 2 ] However, I prefer the squares and circles using a separate frame ( like a car tire) because it is easy to move garden beds and their contents around.

    • The circular beds were $10 each on sale and we put weed cloth underneath it to prevent weeds. The ground itself has lots of rocks under the layer of dumped rock and is mostly clay, lousy for gardening, so we bought soil too. We may put in a fence soon. There are no critters nearby that will eat the plants AFAIK. The field has lots of prairie dogs and a few jack rabbits and I doubt deer will come in the open field much and certainly not near the house.

      We are composting. Worm farming sounds like a good idea, will investigate that.

      Paper mache gardening is a great idea.

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