Saturday, April 30, 2011

Yard Work Never Ends

And that's just the front yard. Last year we made a bold move - put 3 raised beds in the middle of the lawn and set up a few veggie beds along the walkways.

This year we took it a step further. Or rather I did since Chris is on crunches and can only help with a few key tasks like pulling a few weeds and digging.So I've been busy with the front yard garden since we got back from NY.

I wish I could say I'm done, but that's simply not the case. Part of it has to do with budget limitations. Another reason is our car. You see, it's not so big. Its load capacity is 10 bags of mini bark nuggets. So it takes me a lot of trips to Lowe's to get everything we need. On the plus side, I get to make friends with cashiers there and they know us quite well.

The third reason is our yard. Our yard is pure clay. Which really wouldn't be all that bad. Except that it's pure clay mixed with A LOT of rocks of all sizes, from dime-sized to brick-sized. It's extremely depressing trying to dig holes for trees and bushes in this kind of soil. Fortunately, I have Chris who, even on crutches, can dig better holes in no time and stay perfectly calm (I
curse like a sailor after the first 100 rocks).

So here's what we've done so far:

  • Planted a row of blueberry bushes along the driveway (and a few lingonberries in between)
  • Lined up 3 existing beds in a nice grid and added the 4th bed (Chris built it last fall and all I had to do was to move it from the backyard and filling it with soil)
  • Put yardscape fabric and mulch on the paths between and around the garden beds
  • Put stepping stones between the blueberries and the garden beds
  • Enlisted a neighbor who happened to have a rotary cultivator to till soil along the woodline
  • Planted a strip of shade-loving perennials in the tilled soil (Chris dug up all the holes)
  • Moved goji berry to the backyard and replaced it with a dwarf peach tree (again, Chris did the impossible and dug up a huge hole for it through all the clay and rocks)
  • Created a new pathway
Of course, now we have just a few more things to do

  • Finish putting mulch in the paths around the beds
  • Line up the outside edges of the mulched paths with logs (the cheapest, free really, option we can think of; plus it's very easy to install and remove)
  • Plant herbs in the pots and set them in a nice sunny location (it's a challenge to find one in our front yard)
  • Bribe the neighbor to come over again and till the rest of what needs to be tilled
  • Plant the rest of the veggies (peppers, eggplants and tomatoes)
And a few odds and ends here and there. So tomorrow morning I'm getting up early to a) pick up a few logs at the neighbors who recently cut down a tree and b) to pick up 6 bags of compost and some tomato cages at Lowe's.

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