Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beds 10 through 12 - of 24?


Yeah, I'm not sure we're going to make it, but we are going to give it a shot.

We waited on so many things with this garden. Here it is, halfway through May, and we've got very little planted.

What we DO have is a good start on some permanent raised beds. Even if we don't get them all planted this year, they will be ready next spring, with hopefully NOT much work to do. I'm really looking forward to a spring that we are not tied to working the earth as much as we have been for the last two years.

The hope is that the hay will be mulched thickly enough to prevent weeds, even from the seeds that will be IN the mulch itself. If not, we are in the same boat anyhow, so it's worth the try.

Here is the first bed we mulched with hay, the lowest future melon bed, which we hope to seed tomorrow.

This is laid down at least 6 inches thick, and it's partially decomposed already.

I found my summer squash being attacked by mangey little striped beetles, which I picked off and squished in my fingers. I didn't used to do that, but the harder I work on this, the more vicious I become in protecting it.

And here is the area we needed to work on for the last three beds on the first side.

This has a really bad area right above the peas. The dirt was turned over, toward the downhill direction, leaving us with a sharp bank heading straight into the pea bed. I was not sure how we were going to level it all out.

But I left Michael manning the rototiller...

... and I went on a walkabout down the meadow way to where we'd been hunting for rotten hay bales the neighbor said we could have.

I was dying to get some photos of this flourish of wild daisies we'd traveled through.

Ooooooooh, look at these!

Here are some of the places we picked up hay from where he'd stored some bales.

And tucked back under the trees and a wild grape vine...

...was this wonderful find!

I hope we can get a chance to eat these grapes. Usually they are so high up in the trees you can't get to them.

We are so blessed to live by this meadow. Can't see the house from here.

Some sort of fiery weed.

A vivid red clover blossom.

Heading back home.

Michael getting his shoes back on after going in for his drink igloo.

While pulling a few weeds I found these sweet potato surprises! They must have very prolific roots, because these were a good 8 feet uphill from where they had been last year. I haven't decided whether to leave them, pull them, or move them, so they are still down there.

We decided to really make the garden straight and neat, so we marked it with string and recut the top border in a straight line to till it in. It was a lot of work, but we are so glad we did it.

Then we needed a shovel. We'd been working with only one shovel, and trying to make do with a spade and a trencher, but our backs have been screaming for weeks. So we took a trip into town to buy a super-duper shovel, and we also invested in a super-duper lopper. We are really going to be blessed by this! Every year I struggle with loppers that barely cut. Now we are set!

Ready to get back at it?


There is a very naughty dog on the end of that chain. Twice he has been caught laying on top of our summer squash seedlings. He's going to be kept from the garden until they are much bigger. He gets to be tied up where ever we are working outside so he doesn't feel lonely.

Three beds marked out and digging begun.

All done.

And look at that beautiful straight top, where we plan on placing the cold frames.


Tomorrow we hope to mulch all the beds we've done so far. Then we can call the garden beds half done.




  1. Wow! I see I haven't been the only one working my tail off! Haha.

  2. Looking great! All that labor is a muscle maker for certain. Just look at Michael's strong ones! He looks tired too. Ability of young people make me proud too. Lucky you.

    That fiery red "weed" is sheep sorrell, also known as red sorrell and sour grass and grows profusely in iron rich soil - a medicinal herb. The base of your home shows there is iron aplenty there.

    New tools give a new lease on work efforts. Yesterday's purchase of a pull/tow dump cart from Lowe's made a huge difference timewise; in one hour I'd gotten 16 cu. feet of mulch placed in a raised bed
    whereas I'd been days carrying small amounts by hand.

    Handled tools last longer when a coat of polyurethane is applied yearly. Two hoe handles (secondhand)broke in three days. "Now what!" I uttered. Anyway, my digging days are about finished.

    You and your son are absolutely 'making magic' by all your work. How much land do you have? It appears much from your pictures. Are those your horses?

  3. SBF,

    Yup, we officially tail-less. But I can sure feel my lower back!


  4. Sissy,

    Ah, thanks so much for the herb tip!!!! I'm trying to learn all about them as I've long dreamed for a huge herb garden.

    I've got a sorrel planted, but it looks different. And there are so many that the tags got lost on and I don't remember what they are. LOL I've got to get better at this.

    That's exactly how we felt about the loppers. They were very expensive. But it has been frustrating to get some that work for a year or so, then you struggle with them for another couple of years before you get to where you are wasting a lot of time and energy. Some things pay for themselves in that way, rather than money.

    We've got just under 6 acres, and those are our horses. No time to work with them though. They keep the grass down in summer and keep us scrambling for hay in winter.


  5. Faith,
    We're doing the same thing with raised/ mounded beds but.... we are digging our a rectangular pit( 2ft deep) adding several layers of cardboard and newspaper, then adding fresh manure( for the added heat to the soil as it decomposes as well as the nutrients), then covering with 6-8inches of soil dug out from the pit, removing any tell tale sighs of weeds or roots of the bindweed. So far we have three completed and so far no sign of bindweed either If this works we're planning on doing our entire garden in raised/ mounded beds by next season( we'll work on putting them in plae through out the Fall and finish what needs to be in the Spring. :o)

  6. Busy busy! Missing you :-( Didn't get to see you on Sunday to tell you Happy Mother's Day, so I will tell you now!... "Happy Mother's Day!"

    If you need me, call me :-D Love you!

  7. Looks great out there, glad to see i'm not the only one out in the yard with a spool of string and a shovel!
    Its still tiring work, but it feels so much less frazzling to look out and see straight lines and neat edges at the end of the day. I never feel finished unless its smoothed out.

    I'm hoping to not get engulfed by weeds this year myself... i hope i can keep up.

  8. Kelle,

    Wow, that's a lotta work you are having to do! But I am familiar with the desperation when you are experiencing a hostile takeover. LOL

    I hope that continues to work on the bindweed. It is so much work, isn't it! Looks like we are both going to be spreading it out over some time.

    The tough part can actually be finding earth that doesn't have the bad stuff in it all over again. I want to do our cold frames, but I'm not sure where I'm going to find the soil for them. Mine is very inhospitable clay in many areas.

    Looking forward to pics of your project. :o)


  9. Leah,


    I miss you, too! You can come over ANY day! LOL Tomorrow is work and more work and you are welcome to help.

    Letsee, hunting for mulch, vineyard work, hopefully planting some seeds, and all this before leaving by 4 or so get some errands done before our stuff that night.

    Love you, too!


  10. Icebear,

    I like those nice neat rows too. It's a completeness that just really satisfies. LOL

    You can always do what I do when it all becomes too much... a few sprays of Round Up, and you get to start all over. ;o)


  11. I would have come over today, but the doctor didn't give me any work until yesterday (it's been since last Thursday!) He had an emergency case last week, and he was never able to catch up, so I will be typing all morning/afternoon. Though it might not be as bad as I think!

    Hope the rain holds a bit for you all today. It's been so nice!

  12. Leah,

    You've got LOTS of work to do then. I hope you are able to get through it fairly quickly. I'm so glad they are so nice to work with.

    Remember how awful it was when you first were thinking about taking the job? LOL Now it is such a blessing. Praise God! :o)



I always enjoy hearing from others. If you become a regular commenter, I'll assume you are being friendly and pretty much comment regularly right back. :o) God bless and have a terrific day!