Neighbors and Family Help a Garden Come Together

November 15, 2015 lawanda Newspaper Columns

A few columns back, I mentioned that my husband and I have moved from our one-acre property to a smaller ¼-acre yard with many challenges. We closed the sale of our former home at the end of September leaving a garden still producing bountifully, apples and pears yet unharvested and grapes fermenting on the vines.

Normally at this time of year I’d be busy with final harvesting from the vegetable garden, cleaning up, raking, cutting back, tucking in.  This year is different.

I am rushing to establish vegetable gardens where none existed before.  The gardens will be located alongside the house, due to the narrow waterfront lot.  The poor quality soil is compacted from years of being covered by decorative river rock.  To improve the soil, I brought compost from our former home in 5-gallon buckets, but there wasn’t space or time to bring enough.  It seemed more important to get all the furniture on the trailer!

Adding organic matter in the form of shredded leaves will improve the soil.  Our new property has 2 ½ oak trees. Oak leaves take a long time to break down, although shredding does help.  Thanks to my neighbor’s mulching mower, two small gardens are covered with shredded oak leaves.

I wanted faster-to-compost leaves for the larger bed that runs along the entire northeast side of the house, so my dad used his mower to shred poplar and maple leaves from their front yard for me.  Now that the trailer is relieved of furniture moving duty, it has been put to use hauling shredded leaves.

The beds alongside the house are not sufficient to produce all the vegetables I want to grow, so I’ve built four raised beds on property my parents own about ½ mile away.  In August I laid large pieces of cardboard on the tall grass and weighted them down with rocks, bricks, logs and anything else I could scrounge up.

From Craig’s List, I acquired a truck load of free cinder blocks, enough to edge one raised bed.  The other three are edged with a combination of cinder blocks – thanks to another neighbor – and bricks and rocks of various sizes that I collected over the years and that somehow snuck onto the trailer a few at a time as each load of furniture made the move.

I filled the new beds with a blanket of pine needles topped with shredded leaves.  Next will come the soil, although I am not entirely sure where I will acquire that.  I’ve been eying a pile my mother has been saving, but she says she needs it just in case.  I can understand that.  When I had an acre of land and plenty of space I always had spare piles of dirt, wood chips and rocks.  I am certain a source of soil will turn up, but if it doesn’t I can always buy a truck load of topsoil and save the extra, just in case.

 

Gardening techniques and toolsMiscellaneous


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by http://wordpress.org/ and http://www.hqpremiumthemes.com/