Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gabe's Garden, Progress!

Garden priority these last weeks has been getting Chris' fence up, but I've had some time to nibble away at Gabe's garden, too, along with some other clean-up around the yard. Here is the raspberry and strawberry bed, with the straw removed from the strawberries. I realized it was high time to release them from hibernation when I saw a butterfly in the front shrubs. (It was one of those white ones with a black spot on the wing - a cabbage white?)

Also, the peepers are singing merrily! We opened the bedroom window last night and had them serenade us.

I built up the beds of Gabe's Garden from chunks of sod, and I had been getting progressively more worried about erosion, about the soil drying up and blong off, about the work it would take to break up the sod clumps, and about the sod growing. So when I started pulling the straw off of the strawberries, I realized that I could layer it on the beds and solve all of those problems at once. When the plants are ready, I will clear places for them in the straw. It's a variation on lasagna beds, or sheet composting.

The first plants have been plunked into the beds: some irises went around the poor silly Norway maple, and our live Christmas tree from three winters ago (not pictured) went into a spot closer to the house. Neither of these are native, but it seemed like a good use for plants I needed to move anyway.

Irises are poisinous, but the base of the Norway is outside of the main "toddler containment ring". We had to move the iris patch that had been in front of the shed, in order to get Chris's bunny barrier in place. They were overgrown and in need of redistribution anyway. I dug two buckets of them - ten gallons of irises! - and gave away all but a half bucket.

This is the keyhole bed where the serviceberry seedlings will go. I would write more, but Gabe is demanding a diaper change now!

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