Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Work To Date

Back Yard Garden : December 2011

Back Yard Garden : December 2011

Spent the last week sectioning off 100 square foot areas in the backyard. Using a Half Moon Edger and a digging board to trace out 4' x 25' rows with 2' feet paths between them. Once everything was outlined It was onto cutting out the top 2 inches of sod/soil to remove the grass/clover/ivy/weed concoction that is the lawn. Decided to start this in the winter so that there would not be an endless amount of work to do when it comes time to focus on growing seedling flats and eventual planting. The other idea was to give the beds some time to remove the abundant lawn grubs that, fearing if omitted, and wait till spring would end up terrorizing the potato harvest. There is a love of potato in this household and that would NOT stand !! Major side note.... Due to the very large, old trees in the back yard, there are some beds with hellacious neuron growths of thick roots in them. It is going to be a bit of work removing all of them..... *sigh

To date : 19 hours - Edging/Sod Removal/Digging


  1. Hiya! Found you via comment on Eat Close to Home. If I may toss out some observations I've made in my own garden and others have also made (have you seen http://onestrawrob.com/?p=821 ?), that grass/clover/ivy whatever is likely to be the bane of your gardening existence. Your own personal energy is a limited natural resource! If you can get rid of the grass paths and reduce the total amount of "edge", you can focus your energy on the actual gardening...not clearing 4" of "creep" from the paths into each bed each year.

    You don't have to dig up sod; you just have to smother it. Fabric ($1 sheets at Value World) covered in 3" of crushed stone will do it. So will 6" of heavy organic matter (not just leaves or straw). Building raised beds, instead of digging down, also works a treat, but you need to bring in dirt and/or organic material to do it. This also raises you above the level of the tree roots, and does less damage to the trees.

    I did side-by-side experiments with raised beds, sheet mulching, and tilling, and tilling was by far the worst - I've abandoned that part of the garden, in fact. I assume as you double-dig, you are removing all rhizomes, but every inch of grassy edge will advance 2-4" a year into your beds (6" for creeping charlie and quack grass).


  2. Thanks for the advice! I'll be placing the Wood Rails partially below grade to prevent the root growth/creep of non wanted grasses. After double-digging them out Ill mix in a bit of compost to amend the soil and some rock dust for the trace minerals etc. As for the tree.... it needs and eventual haircut either way. I love nature/trees and the like, however, we need some sun to actually grow a thing or two.