We are slowly getting our outdoor area ready to be gardened and planning a method that will hopefully cut back on the weeds at least a little bit this year. In an effort to avoid using the rototiller as much as possible (his knees are somewhat older than his joie de vivre), we are planning to do raised beds. The thought is that we will clear out plots throughout the front and back garden areas, then build frames around these areas and fill them with a mixture of mulch/compost/good soil. First things first; how do you clear out large areas of a former yard without using a tiller?
How do you go from this:
Yes, my Vermont friends, that really is green stuff growing in January!
It's quite simple.
And oh, are they ever happy to assist in this process!
In the space of a few days, these girls are able to strip a fairly large area quite bare. They remove all weeds, "til" the soil by scratching, and add quite a bit of fertilizer in the process.
Once the girls ~ and their consort, Brave Sir Robin ~ are done with an area, the pens are moved to another area and we are left with something that looks like this:
We bring in the lumber and the wagon, but you get the idea.
Mr. Marvelous had decided that instead of buying lumber we would use ropes and Mr. Marvelous Jr. (!) and drag tree trunks up from the bottom of the back hill. They went down there with saws, ropes and willing spirits;
they were quickly daunted by the slope of the hill and the pain of the back!
Mr. Marvelous pronounced that it was too much and that he would have to purchase the lumber. Junior quietly spoke up and pointed out several trees at the top of the hill that happen to be just the right size to use to build raised beds. He also noticed that these particular trees do need to come down AND will increase the amount of sunlight in the back garden.
Brilliant, isn't he?!
So this coming weekend the men will be out in the back cutting down a few trees, removing branches, and moving the trunks into position for raised beds. We will not have to spend money on lumber for the beds, and it also will give the beds a more rustic ~ and therefore Akin-ish ~ look.
I will be inside while they are doing this, pretending that I don't know what is going on and talking to God about surrendering fear.
We aren't sure that we will be able to do all the beds like this (remember the SIXTY tomato plants?!), but we should be able to make quite a few.