Monday, April 14, 2014

A hard working weekend

This weekend had us officially opening the gardening season. I started reading up on pruning, at the recommendation of friends, following this book. Oh dear, I'm afraid I have turned into a monster. Or maybe I'm a shear-wielding superhero (Yeah. Right. Only in my own head). One way or the other, and hopefully for better, not worse, a lot of trees and shrubs have gotten hair cuts, including my indoor lemon tree and rubber trees.

Then we went to Home Depot and came across the perfect landscape timber - 5x5" cedar logs. I had been asking for a "children's garden" in the front yard, where the neighborhood kids wait for the bus and play. So here's the progress on that! I'm excited, to say the least.

I am planning on having a tunnel trellis between the beds 

Because I always find it hard to figure out how to fill these things (how can you ever tell where your fill really comes from?) for not a lot of money, I ended up using a modified sort of lasagna method again, as last year. I took a lot of the leaf mulching off the rest of my garden beds and saw that the earth worms really liked those... I piled all those leaves into the frames, added a bunch of also very wormy* half-finished compost (to inocculate it a bit), and water the whole thing really well.

Now top it off with 3 layers of newspaper, and then I will use bagged organic garden soil (I know. The bags don't excite me either, but I won't need quite as much, at least) for a top layer to plan my seeds and starts in.

The idea here is that as the lower layer composts in place, the earth worms will till it, and the old sod underneath it, and the roots of the new plants will go through the newspaper as it disintegrates and feed on brand new compost. Since it worked well for me last year, I'm sticking with this plan. The added beauty of not having to turn the old topsoil and take off the sod has nothing to do with this lazy gardener's preferences, ahem. Nothing at all.

* A while back I tried vermicomposting. It wasn't for me so I dumped the whole bin onto my compost pile. At the time I didn't even really turn my compost much, I think. Those worms are still there three winters later, and multiplying like crazy. I can only recommend buying a bag of worms and putting them in the compost!

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