Articles come off my keyboard kind of… scattershot.Â That might not work for everyone.Â That’s okay, there’s a Guided Tour!
The soil was pretty exhausted, not to mention low on the bricks, and all the irrigation was tired — no leaks, just inconsistent pressure in that crappy single-wall stuff. So we ripped out every last bit from thew 2014 summer.
The steps were:
* Remove all greenery and staking (except for shallots, they’re 2-year-old hardbitten survivors)
* Comb the soil for roots that would re-sprout or be too big to break down quickly
* Water for 3 days to pre-germinate any weeds
* Amend existing soil
* Add new soil AND IMMEDIATELY PLANT SHALLOTS. Apparently I can’t not have plants in my beds. *helpless shrug*
It’s never actually been this bare before. HURRY UP SEEDLINGS I NEED TO HAVE DIRTY FINGERNAILS!
Fun Fact: Red Runner Beans are long-lived perennials, providing tasty beans every year for up to two decades. But they’re commonly put with “flowers” instead of “veg” because they’re so beautiful. They even attract hummingbirds.
The drought has been hard on everyone. Fortunately, the rain lately has been reviving! This storm has been dubbed Hellastorm and Rainpocalypse. It’s caused lots of havoc in the flats and some of our neighbors had trouble, but we dodged all that here. It’s snug and safe and warm and everything outside is greening up beautifully. Here’s pictures of our Rainpocalypse.
We have had a single female turkey wandering around our property lately.
Fun Fact: It turns out she made a nest in the orchard. I’ll see if I can get pictures of that soon.
Here are a series of pictures showing my slow progress:
Good things can come out of letting things slide, too. This is the volunteer tomato from last year. It survived the winter and now we have tomatoes in May!
Fun Fact: Probably not going to let things slide again. It’s an easy way to get an inquisitive puppy out of the garden, but it’s a PITA to clean up in Spring.
This is the Bean Bay at the back of the garden. Since I didn’t clean it up in Fall, it got a little… crowded.
But after a bit of work it’s mostly clear enough to give the perennial Red Runner beans a bit of breathing room.
Much better. Last year I dug up a few of the bean roots to see what the problem was — turns out, an overload of snails and roly-poly bugs were eating every sprout that came up — so I replaced them. Now the whole row is planted with Red Runner Beans. The hummingbirds love them and they’re lovely additions to dinner.
Fun Fact: I’ve stopped adding mulch to my garden. It harbors slugs, snails and roly-poly bugs. They make quite a menacing army.
Here are two Garden Glamour Shots, two hours’ work apart.
Fun Fact: You can’t see the difference much, but there’s two zucchinis and 8 lettuce planted in the cleared spaces.
This is fennel, impacted into a cinderblock hole. It’s what happens when you let things slide for two years.
I could not pull it out of the cinderblock, and I wasn’t about to let it keep growing. So the cinderblock itself had to go.
Here you can see one of the (weirdly flattened) roots which snaked out from the fennel and through the two layers of cinderblocks. This was just one of the roots that anchored the fennel, making it impossible to pull
And here it is, cinderblock destroyed and fennel cut down below the crown. The “crown” of a plant is the demarcation between the stuff that grows above ground and the roots. It’s pretty sure that cutting a plant to below the crown keeps it from coming back. Though some do root from roots alone. But not fennel, I hope!
I’ll let it sit out and exposed for a few days, then put in a new block, soil, and plant. And it WILL NOT be fennel.
Fun Fact: Fennel comes in two forms. One gives you delicious bulbs, one gives you seeds that self-seed and bugs like aphids, mealybugs and other nasties. KNOW WHICH ONE YOU’RE PLANTING or you’ll be sorry… like me.