Garden Tasks


Getting this garden expanded from before. It used to be just a thin line down the middle that we planted with perennials and then eventually garden vegetables - the rest of the space was covered and mulched. Since I had to weed it and the woodchips had decayed enough to be used in another garden last fall I switched out the subsoil from the first strawberry garden (that project described below) and replaced it with a mix of all the scrapings from the top of this garden along with some of the subsoil. Which left this garden waiting for spring for me to finish the edges and tidy the pathway up again. I need to wear my glasses when taking pictures, I didn’t notice the edge had fallen over until I was editing this picture. Hahaha… :)

Reclaimed Space - May 2 2018 (1569K) gardens

After spending time the past few weeks trying to keep groundhogs from reusing their den site that they’ve had for many years… I plugged it up late last fall. Hoped they would not come back, but this spring they’ve dug back out a few times so far and I’ve kept plugging it up again and they’ve dug out again. This morning I went out to check on them again and they’d opened up shop again. After plugging yet another time I also decided I had better check under the pallets which are covering a drainage channel that has some drain tube at the bottom. At times the rabbits, chipmunks and yes groundhogs use this as a place to hide and then raid gardens and I’ve wanted to fill it in and shift the neighboring pathway over several feet to reclaim the space for gardening instead of having so much crushed limestone pathway. Since I’m working on the neighboring edge anyways and will have to take it up to get rid of invasive grasses I decide I may as well start at the far end and gradually work my way closer to the house as I get time and fill.

The pallets are gradually rotting away anyways and it is all very much a hazard. I would also like to have an easier way across back there than walking over the pallets or a piece of wood.

While I was looking under there I did find what is likely a beginnings of a rabbit home and found a chunk of leftover drain tube to use as a second one to put down there (less fill and I will need one more drain going through there). If we get any breaks in the weather I’ll get that end redone and start on this, but I expect it will take me several years to finish it. Any fill has to be brought in a wheelbarrow at a time or carried back there in buckets. Plus I have many other projects going on soon so this will be a very low priority project for when I’m between other things. Um, yeah… :) It’s a big mess to clean up and make look nicer, but it is fun to have a mess once in a while.

My Next Long Project - Apr 11 2018 (1142K) drainage

My Next Long Project End View - Apr 11 2018 (1413K) drainage

p.s. Nice pile of wild grapevines I have to finish chopping up soon and clean up around there some.

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

What a year it has been and this poor garden has been sorely neglected, but I’ve finally gotten back to it the past few weeks. A work in progress…

North Garden - Jul 28 2017 (1749K) north

If anyone needs an example of why not to let morning glories grow on a fence along a pathway. It has been four or more years since we had those flowers and they dropped plenty of seeds - any time there are enough rains the seeds will sprout and try to grow. I’m always glad to have flowers, but some of them need to be kept places where any strays can be mowed. It is gradually improving, but I wonder how many more years I’ll need to keep weeding that pathway a few times a season. The gravel in that pathway is deep enough that very few weed seeds will grow there, but morning glory seeds seem to be one of them that can do it.

Morning Glory - Jul 24 2017 (1495K) morning glory

The pallet/ditch project I started hoping to have it finished before this winter. Way too much rain this season so I’ve been only able to get about halfway with what I was hoping to have done by this point.

Pallet Project - Nov 9 2019 (2149K) drainage

This garden finally got cleaned up this past summer, including our all new Road To No Wear (all puns and misspellings intended).

North Garden - Nov 9 2019 (2253K) north

The other part of the pallet/ditch project. I am pulling drain tubes and pea gravel from this large tulip garden which doesn’t have too many tulips in it any longer. This will let me expand the garden to fit the space it was originally meant to occupy and all those drain tubes and gravel weren’t really needed. I will still have a drain tube under there, but only one part of it which surrounds the Lily garden and then it runs straight back to the large drainage ditch.

Moving Drain Tubes - Nov 9 2019 (2655K) drainage