Friday after work and a nap, I got myself up, borrowed my brother’s truck and my mom’s truck liner/unloader, and went down to my local landscape supplier and picked up some soil. I was wanting some mushroom compost but they were already sold out, which is not unusual and less prolific as leaves. So I settled for leaf compost, which is really rich soil and I believe will be even more beneficial on my property due to of the prolific nature of the worms already living there. Above, you can see where I dumped the soil for the raised bed as I am not completely ready for it, but I wanted to get some before they started running low. I laid cardboard under the soil as I plan on planting strawberries along the hill there and wanted a compostable weed stop under any dirt left over for the strawberries.
After dumping the first yard of dirt I realized how much more I would need, so I picked up two more yards of dirt, my rake, and my shovel and headed out toward the edge of the property. I decided to rake up dead leaves and pile around the old red oak tree at the far end of our yard and cover it with compost. I did this with the idea that the leaves would break down and create additional nutrient rich soil in the long term. By doing this, I am theorizing that I will be able to plant in the compost on top of the leaves this year, and have more depth in planting soil in the future.
I then took some of the compost and surrounded my poor Lemon Balm plants and Italian Parsley transplants. I transplanted these herbs from my mom’s house last year and then nearly killed them by keeping them out of the soil and water for to long, ha ha. But like most Herbs, they were hard to kill and came back this year much to my surprise! They do look like they are struggling a bit though based on the size of the Lemon Balm and the Yellowing on the Parsley, so I wanted to go ahead and give them a boost for this season. I will make a Nitrogen rich tea for them later to help them get some of the nutrients they may be lacking.
Saturday I got up and picked up two more scoops of compost and repeated my process of stacking compost over leaves around both the tree in the back of our house (pictured above) and the small willow tree in the middle of our yard (pictured below).
In between beautifying and creating planting areas around these two trees, I filled the raised beds I built last year. Both the small and large planters pictured below were filled with leaves in the fall, however I put more leaves in both and topped them off with a mixture of compost and peat moss.
I planed to plant these raised beds with lots of vegetables before the rains came down so that they could get a really good start. Monday (Technically not the weekend anymore), I planted Carrots, Beets, Radishes, Onions, Summer Squash, Kale, Chard, Spinach, Lettuce, and Bush Green Beans for Vegetables. I planted some flowers to attract the pollinators that include Giant Cactus Zinnia’s, Semi-Dwarf Zinnia’s, and some bi-colored Sunflowers.
I finished up planting on Monday with my Peegee Pink Hydrangea in the front Garden bed.
At the end of this long weekend of work, I am satisfied I got at least half of what I wanted to get done on the weekend. Lol, I always plan to much work.
As Always, building self-sustaining and beautiful gardens is not easy, so I hope you find the inspiration and encouragement you need in this publication to begin your journey to a healthier and more beautiful self-sustaining life.
Your friendly Neighborhood Gardener/Crafter