Garden Tasks

The very first strawberry patch that I set up has needed to be renovated for a few years now so I finally got around to it this season. The first picture is from how it looked before. I mounded it up and put extra tulips in there but after several years I decided it wasn’t doing that well like that so it did need to be leveled. Also I wanted to move the heavy clay subsoil out of there and replace it with a mix of mostly decayed wood chips, topsoil, sand and a little of the clay. The next three pictures are that (before, during, after):

[Note: to the right I added on two years ago and it will get redone next time I get back to this garden - climbing up and down that hill to pick berries isn’t that easy]

First Strawberry Patch - May 23 2014 (1602K) strawberries

First Strawberry Patch Redo Partway - Sep 19 2017 (1476K) strawberries

First Strawberry Patch Redone - Oct 25 2017 (1626K) strawberries

We moved the above cedar trees from their nursery area in the spring. We didn’t know the deer would find them during our winter and you can tell they enjoyed them.

Cedar Trees - Apr 19 2017 (835K) cedars

Over the years I’ve found out that while I liked the look of many smaller gardens it ended up being a lot more work to take care of them. Also, I didn’t like how much space was being used up by pathways. Now I have been putting more small gardens back together.

Pathway Removal - Apr 18 2016 (1609K) pathway

Combined Gardens - Apr 27 2016 (1148K) combined

When I was working on the north garden diversion and water catch another reason I had to clean up that edge was because the horsetail was running under the black plastic barrier and then coming back out again. The distance in the last horsetail picture is about 7m wide by 2-3m tall. I actually like the plant, I just don’t want it in the gardens. The roots can run quite a ways without ever surfacing and it doesn’t take that much at all of a fragment to start another plant growing. At first I was trying to remove it carefully, but after a few years it had spread to cover almost half the garden and so I ended up digging it out by double digging the whole space. Still some remains here or there.

Diversion - Nov 20 2011 (1303K) diversion

Horsetail Segments - Nov 20 2011 (1358K) horsetail

Horsetail - Aug 2 2010 (1388K) horsetail

Horsetail - Nov 20 2011 (1097K) horsetail

When free bricks are to be had for the hauling…

Brick Drive - Jul 11 2017 (1086K) bricks

Brick Drive Right - Jul 11 2017 (1271K) bricks

Brick Drive Left - Jul 11 2017 (1305K) bricks

In the north garden one of my strawberry patches was being taken over by sow thistle. I don’t like to use weed killing sprays and I need the exercise so digging it all out one dirt clod and root at a time is how this job gets done. We joke that I am digging to China. All that green stuff is mostly weeds that I’m also removing and burying as I work my may from right to left (sow thistle is not buried because it comes back from very small root fragments those weeds and grass roots get put back on one of the weed piles where they are dried out in the sun). This garden is 2nd to the last in priority (because it is not fenced) but we’ve done a pretty good job in keeping the rest of the gardens up so I’ve finally been able to get to this project - it has been on my wish list for getting done for a few years now. I hope I can finish up getting the whole garden back in shape before the end of August and will of course do an after picture!

Digging to China - Jul 29 2017 (1488K) north

I did finish up most of it by the end of August. Yes there is still plenty left to do in there but the worst of it is now done. With it taking so long already there are fresh weeds showing up in there, but so far none of them are the sow thistle - I’ll have to keep an eye on it to make sure any bits I missed don’t have a chance to recolonize the space. Of course, there are always wind-blown seeds and others left-over from before that I will have to make sure don’t get a chance. Some of the strawberries that I transplanted are alive and putting on some new leaves. I never planned on doing much work along the west edge and it still needs a little more to clean it up around the bird bath.

North Garden - Sep 1 2017 (1465K) north