Summer Job

frod-pads

Well, I spent the summer landscaping my yard.  I blew through five “deadlines” and still have a couple of small projects left, but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Last summer I set up all of the foundation planting areas using sheet mulch (layers of newspaper or cardboard) and topping it with 3 inches of garden soil.  Then I let it “cook” over the winter.  The paper smothers and totally kills whatever is there–you can’t even see any evidence that a weed was ever in place, and it does this without any need for me to dig!  The ink in the newsprint kills fungus, and the paper decomposes beautifully.  It also makes a wonderful home for all the earthworms in the neighborhood, and they head right over and do their thing.  Then, in late April we brought in a truck load of top soil, and added that to the planting bed–rich, fluffy dirt to which I added about 2 inches of compost.  Unfortunately, just as the beds were ready to be planted (with the 1,000 bare root plants I’d ordered in February), the contractors moved in to replace the siding on our house.  (We expected them at the end of summer!)  After six weeks of contractors and ladders, that beautiful, fluffy dirt was totally compacted (so much for no digging), and the plants were spending the summer in my refrigerator!  The good news is that with a little watering, the prepared soil was easy to loosen with a turning fork, and I had about 14-16 inches of really great soil.

Just as I was finishing planting, a fitting on our irrigation well pump broke, and shut down the irrigation system for about 3 weeks, so I was watering everything by hand!  At last things are about back to normal, and my life is no longer focused on yard work.  Of course, summer is almost over here, but we should still have some nice weather for a couple more months.  Next year I’ll be able to enjoy the “fruits” of this year.  Hopefully next year my little “bird bubbler” will look something like my old fish pond (picture above).

I have a bunch of bags of mulch left over so I’m going to revamp my hammock area, a project I planned to put off to next year, but since I have a LOT of LARGE pieces of cardboard I want to get out of my garage, along with plenty of weed cloth for the job, I decided to spend a couple of days and get it done now.  It will be great for the winter, and perfect for next spring.

All the “bones” of the yard are in.  Next year I can start the fun stuff of adding the “flesh” to my planting areas.

Moving is So MUCH WORK!

Hope you all had a great summer, and are “ready” to start a new year with a new bunch of amazing children!  Happy, Back to School!

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