Do you ever wonder what it takes to make a garden? Do you ever wonder what's going on "behind the curtains"? Do you ever wonder how much work is involved? Does it bother you that the work doesn't generally get mentioned on gardening blogs? Well, I have numerous projects, and I need to work every day to get them done, so for my own motivation, I thought I'd let you in on how much work I do (or how much I don't). Feel free to ask questions!
What did I do yesterday?
I prepared a new garden area. Kind of.
This is a small area next to my vegetable garden. I wanted to tie the arbor to the vegetable bed with a planting area, make it easier (hopefully) to mow around, and finally (finally!) plant the rose I bought this spring to go next to the arbor (it's a New Dawn rose - I know all my rosy friends will want to know that).
I started by watering the ground well, so I could get a shovel into it! Then I spray painted where I wanted to place the edging. The edging from the vegetable garden to the arbor was simple. One side was a straight line, exactly the length of the edging. The other side I curved in order to exactly fit two lengths of edging. I liked the design, so I took a shovel and dug a very thin trench, fit the edging into the trench, and hammered in the stakes that hold the edging down.
How to do it right:
After this step, you should shovel out all the grass.
How I did it:
I'm always looking for shortcuts. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. I hate shoveling out grass, so I opted for a shortcut. I laid down cardboard (I've been saving it for months), and mulched on top. This method works fairly well. I still get grass coming up here and there, which I pull by hand. Sometimes I get a lot of grass still coming up, and in those instances, I just put down another layer of cardboard and mulch over that patch of grass.
It's best to prepare the beds six months to a year before you plant, although I do plant shrubs with this method. I just have to be diligent to pull any grass that comes up next to the shrubs. Be sure not to get the mulch too close to the plant stems. And only use plain cardboard. Do not use boxes that have a painted or glossy finish on them, as these have toxins. Water after putting down the cardboard, and again after putting down the mulch.
How long I worked:
I'm slow, but I'm steady. It took me about 3-1/2 hours to complete this job. It was almost too much for a hot summer's day, but I wanted to finish, so I did. I did take several breaks, and drank lots of water. And, of course, it took me quite some time to find all the tools I needed.
There is still some grass coming up between the vegetable bed and the newly mulched area. I'll end up pulling this by hand, but that's a chore for another day.
A joy from the garden:
Gruss An Aachen. I love this rose! Isn't it just the most beautiful color?!
What will I do today?
I'll let you know tomorrow!