They don’t hang out near the patio as much as Maddie and Mabel, but this morning they thought they’d check in.
Despite dire warnings of a very, very cold Mother’s Day, I planted about half of my tomatoes today. They were getting leggy and I worried they’d be difficult for my petsitter to take care of while I’m away. The water tents should keep them safe. These five are all San Marzano.
The other three tomatoes will have to wait for friends to bring over their walls-of-water and some pots. They’re moving this summer, so no garden. It was decided I’d plant enough for all of us. Excited to have my little garden be a “co-op.”
I’m leaving the peppers inside until I’m sure it will be warm enough, even though I have walls-of-water for them, too. Ground is still unseasonably cold.
The front yard is looking stunning with all the bulbs (this is but a few). None of which I planted and all survived the cardboard/mulch arrangement. Actually, they seemed to thrive.
That’s it for now. On the road for the rest of the week, but I’ll check in with any fun recipes we might make along the way.
What’s with photo of dirt? Continue reading
It began innocently enough with laying out an outline of what might be nice and a promise I’d think about it for a while. Two weeks later, phase 1 is complete.
My goal was to create an excellent soil base to replace what is now pretty much cement hard clay. The previous owners used a chemical lawn service for at least a decade, that left the soil depleted and hard as a rock. Over the past four years, I’ve been amending it with compost, manure and aeration. A record drought this summer proved that none of those measures were enough to reinvigorate the lawn and the soil was still like granite.
I had several choices: use chemicals to kill (just no), or a bobcat to scrape, the grass and bring in a large amount of good soil and replant the grass, or add sod, or xeriscape. I was definitely leaning towards creating an area of low-water native plantings. But the cost of scraping a lawn and bringing in yards and yards of compost/soil was cost-prohibitive.
Then a bit of research led me to the Sheeting Method. Better soil would be achieved by killing the grass and weeds with a sealed layer of cardboard and mulch. Leaving an excellent base for native plants and bushes to replace the grass.
The next step was a hunt for cardboard.
Thanks to neighborhood apps, I was able to relieve multiple neighbors of their cardboard just before recycling day, so it was already flattened. They didn’t have to drive it to the recycling center, and I got several carloads of boxes.
My goal for a while has been to get rid of the lawn in the front yard. It’s large, the soil is almost dead (previous owner, years of chemicals), and four years of trying to bring it back has been futile. The severe drought this summer made that evident. All the water in the world cannot help soil depleted of nutrients.
The biggest stumbling block was removing the grass. It’s often ineffective, with roots remaining and grass invading the new plantings. It would also mean bringing in new soil to level out the yard. Then I found a method that seems perfect for what we’ll be doing with the landscaping going forward. Continue reading