Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Look What Irene Started

Irene (the hurricane) doused my basement in a lot of water ruining a bunch of cardboard packing boxes that were meant to do a lot of things including become tombstones and other things for halloween. In a way Irene was a blessing in disguise. It made us really clean out the basement, make some repairs that were long over due and it even inspired me to take that first step towards making a lasagna garden in the front yard.

I have always wanted to plant something on the other side of my drive in the front yard, but the soil is poor there -- compacted and definitely lacking in nutrients because of a row of pine trees on the far end. Digging even an inch would get you to tough roots. So, for the longest time, I have been thinking of making a lasagna garden over there. A lasagna garden is one where you compost all your material right on site where you plan to plant you garden. Here are some links to how to make your own lasagna garden: http://organicgardening.about.com/od/startinganorganicgarden/a/lasagnagarden.htm

I started out ambitiously enough with a really large patch of earth marked out for the garden with a hose. Then I began dumping soggy cardboard from the other corner of the yard, where they were waiting to go to the recycling bin. Half way through the process I nearly gave up and ran in the other direction, because right bang in the middle of my front yard was a large pile of ugly cardboard. It looked like a junk yard.

This is how it looked and it freaked me out!

I was getting hungry as well, so decide go in and start some lunch prep and time shared it with this garden building. I realized pretty quickly that I did not have enough soggy cardboard to cover the initial plan of the garden. So, I scaled back.

An old cat enclosure was recently torn down and the lumber was lying in the side yard. Just to make me feel a little better about the crazy junk in the front yard, I decided to first build an edge around me garden. It looked a little better and less crazy. So, I went ahead and started to dump some soil.

The soil was actually a large load of mulch that was never used and had already composted into soil in the back yard. I added about two loads of vegetable scraps that were meant to go in my backyard compost pit before I covered it all up with the soil.

Here is another in-progress shot.

It took all of eight loads of soil to cover the entire area. Eight loads of soil that had to be dug out and transported, up a slope, to this area. It was good work out. I worked straight out for about eight hours that Sunday while parallel processing with cooking. This was the result.

It was the most productive weekend in recent memory! After the leaves have fallen, I will add another layer of veggie scraps and a layer of dried up leaves and may be cover it with a landscape cloth and let it cook until spring.

This lone hibiscus kept me company the whole time

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