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finally mulched the garden!  RSS feed

 
Leah Sattler
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one roundbale covered most of the garden in a layer just a few inches thick. i stopped and scraped up the remains of a another roundbale onthe side of the road that had fallen from truck that had cover some areas previously. next month I will get another which should be sufficient to suppress weeds for a while. I could almost hear the soil say 'thank you' as I put it down. I suspect this area has been tilled to death for years. my pea vines are so sad looking.

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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I agree that your garden looks like it is screming thank you !! it looks fantastic for a first year garden..you go girl.

in looking at the photo I am assuming that where the elec pole is that is probably the ROAD frontage? guess? and that the land on the opposite side is NOT your land, correct?
is that the old orchard you were talking about along the ROAD? This will be a lovely orchard area for you as it matures..hope that those older trees product a crop that you can use.

You know when we were discussing them, we never did examine the possibility that they might have been grown on their own roots?? we have trees here that have grown on their own roots, and so if they had been cut down so severely as yours..they would have still sent up the "real deaL' as new branches !
 
Leah Sattler
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yep. it is all by the ROAD!!! ack...it is the deepest soil you can find anywhere near the house and I suspect that is why they placed it there. my husband and I were discussing yestereday how we could build a rock wall all along the front of the property.

its annoying both because the garden is soooo far away...definitly not put in with a permie system in mind..........and I like to work in the garden naked and that just is not happening there....... it doesn't flow nicely at all. at least not yet...but I can make it better.

at first...before we actually moved in...............  I had plans to right away start developing a garden near the house for planting next year. using gobs of hay stacked where I wanted it. that was until I actually tried to stick a shovel in the ground. holy moly I don't know how anything grows up by the house! (and very little does) I could build the soil closer to the house over time and used rocks to make raised beds etc.....but then I would be constantly dealing with dry out and heat in the summer and it would always have a rock shelf underneath the bed restricting earthworms and deep rooted plants. so I have decided that I am to do the best i can with the natural variations in the property.

for starters i plan to make a chicken moat surrounding the garden and encompassing the fruit trees so the chickens can eat the fallen fruit and help keep weeds and crawling bugs and slugs out of the garden. a shed will be built to house garden implements/tools and chicken supplies. I will have two everyday composts. the one by the house now for household stuff to be used near the house, and another near the garden for garden waste and chicken poo/litter. (as well as a large one for bulk amendment projects near the barn). my dairy goats will be fenced in on the remaining acreage on that side of the house. so I can take care of chickens milking garden and compost all right there. I will just be getting a bit more excercise getting there at first.



this is a picture of the garden/orchard....from the back door!!! its seems like it is a mile away when I am hauling stuff down there.....
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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Leah it is beautiful..absolutely beautiful..when we had our old house we had a long trek to the garden no matter where we put it..as right behind the old house was a hard compacted gravel driveway circle turn around a lilac..and then there was a foundation with an old workshop/woodshed on it..

when we had the fire the house went where the gravel driveway had been and the contractor moved the lilac across the pond area..and he also bulldozed up the foundation of the building and hauled it away..that is where our drainfield is now..the apple tree that is there was nearly leaning against the shed we had behind the building and now it is right out back beyond our drainfield..we are about 70' closer to the rear than we were before.

so now the old garden area where they USED to put stuff is more easily accessible...that is where i'm putting the berry bushes and nut trees, it only had a few herbs and asparagus and rhubarb and horseradish..as it was just too far away to mess with before.

I have a book on gravel gardening..rocky gardening..the book is called 'The American Weekend Garden' by Patricia Thorpe..Random House  ISBN 0-394-5025-6 

"When I found there was six inches of csoil coverinig those rock ledges, I said, 'rop the delphinium.'".......when you find that a pick is the only gardeing implement you can get into your ground, it's time to regroup your gardening aspirations.

"......developing an area like this for planting has a kind of archaeological fascination to it - you want to reveal sections of this natural formation, then plan your lantings around them. ......keep any good soil that can be salvaged from the original covering layers. This can be improved with sand and leaf mold or compost and put back into pockets or cerevices you decide to plant. .....what you have instead is just soil filled with small to medium sized rocks interspersed with an occasional boulder. To prepare soil like this for any kind of planting, most of the rocks must come out. You can use them the way all the farmers in your area have used them for the last two centuries - walls paths pavings. ....a raised bed can be made from your rocks. This is a freestanding wall that encloses soil; both theoutsidde of the wall and the soil within are planted with rock plants....any change in level in your garden is a good excuse for a retaiining wall, which an then be planted. Small terraces can be built - this brings little plants closer to eye level.....".....then discusses scree gardening.......turn to fascenating plants  of our desert regions, perfectly at home in sand and rock. Consider the glorious bulbs of S Africa ...

If, after getting hooked on this project, your backyad looks like a highway under construciton and your neighbors as well as your spouse think you are certifiable, just wait until next spring......these plants will add a whole new season of bloom to your garden.....

"Oklahoma and New Mexcico share with the western extremes of Texas enormous ranges of temperature from great heat to terrible cold. Any of the flat, open parts of these states can be subject to very high winds and accompanying dust storms. AS the Midwest, windbreaks can provide both protection and relief from the flat natural topography. ...she goes on to suggest native sages, bluebonnet, lupines, penstemons, prickly poppy, yucca, and other plants of spanish influences..

had some other books on gravel gardens but really can't remember now which ones they were..it will come to me
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22493
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Hay on the side of the road:  my worry is that the hay may have been sprayed with something like clopyralid (half life of 11 years) or picloram (half life of 7 years) and all of your growies with either die or be be very sad.

 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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is that road salted in the winter?
 
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