Saturday, May 25, 2013

staycation in the garden.

it's been a long time since i've taken a vacation.. and this time i didn't want to travel, we are staying home this week and spending quality time in our new backyard. the experiment with the cardboard gardens continues, today we extended next to the first bed attaching the second one to it and leaving a 'key' path in between for good reach.

first we used a hard rake, pulled back the grass that was more or less dead under the cardboard we laid down a few days ago. we used a spade to turn the soil beneath, pulling out some clumps of grass, and turning some back into the ground.

after watering the turned soil, we put the cardboard back down into the shape of the bed we are creating, making sure that all of the tape has been removed from the boxes. we then watered the cardboard. on top of the cardboard we mixed a couple kinds of topsoil, one had a little more sand than the other. then we mixed in black earth, and composted sheep manure.

we rake it out into a nice even bed, leaving a 'key' path to step into for easy reach. we will leave these half-paths all along the bed spaced so that you can always reach into the center of the beds. when it comes time to plant, the soil is pulled back, and an X is cut into the cardboard. we peel back the cardboard, put some fresh soil into the hole, and drop in the plant. the soil is replaced, plus some additional rich mix is added, mulching the plant.

we added more veggies, and some annual flowers that we liked the colours of. herbs were planted in the narrow patch at the end of the 'key' path, and more annuals were planted there at the border.

last year we used white clover as a living mulch to keep soil moist, weeds down, and return nitrogen to the soil. this year we are trying something different. we are using more food between the food to take up the ground space, crowd out weeds and produce as much as we can per square foot of garden.

here we used radish seeds.. in other places we used carrots and parsnips. these radish seeds were planted only a few days ago, and already they have begun to sprout. so exciting! so far so good on the new experimental beds. on the next post, we will look into the lettuce bed!

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