More garden bed progress – and an experiment

Today, while the girls worked on the replacement sun room door, I was able to get some progress what will be a new garden bed.

I normally like to take lots of before and after pictures, but today, I decided to experiment. I have a little Gorilla Pod with a phone holder, so I set it up to take time lapse images every 60 seconds. I ended up taking 3 sets of them, then put them together in a little video. This is the result. I hope you like it!

I started with the camera set up in a tree facing the house, but the girls don’t like having their images posted online, so when they started working outside on the door, I moved it to another location.

With images every minute, it actually missed some of the surprisingly large roots I dug out. At one point, I was fighting over a mass of roots that just didn’t want to budge. They were the remains of a group of cherry trees, some live, some not, growing through a couple of pallets that I cleared out last year. After she finished painting the door, my daughter came and helped me get it out. That thing was a beast to get rid of!

There were a few times when I tried to pull up some roots – especially the large spruce roots – but could only get so far. After removing enough soil, I would find that they were being held down by cherry roots growing across them. I would have to dig those out first, then I could pull out the ones I’d started with.

I ended up having to stop long before I was done (I would say it’s a bit more than half done right now), simply because it was getting too hot! Which is an amazing thing to say considering that, depending on whether I am looking at the weather app on my phone, or on my desktop, we’ve reached our high of either 14C (57F) or 11C (52F) out there right now. Which, in the summer, would be considered cooler! 😀

We’re not going to get all the roots out. There are just too many, and lots are quite small. As long as we can get the soil clear enough that the carrots will be able to grow straight, that’s good enough for our first year.

When we had the chance, my daughter and I talked about building raised beds at some point. I do want to do this, but when we do, these will be tall raised beds, for accessibility. So once built, they will be pretty much permanent, and we’ll have to keep that in mind when deciding where to put them. We’ll see how things go this year, as the first year we’re able to plant any gardens at all.

Interestingly, while talking to my mother as I drove her back from the hospital, she started telling me that, if she were still at the farm and my dad were still around and able to help, she would fill the area where the old garden was with trees. Which is a complete change from when we first moved here, and she kept saying we needed to plow it and plant it and garden right away, and was very upset when didn’t do that, no matter how much I explained other things were higher priority. Anyhow, I told her that planting trees there is exactly what we would like to do, and told her (again) about our wanting to plant a nut orchard and fruit trees. So she started telling me that we have to prepare the area before we start buying trees, and how I should be doing that, because once the trees come in, they need to be planted right away! 😀 I assured her that yes, that is exactly what we plan to do, and will be starting to do this year. I reminded her that one of the things we were planning to do this year was plant the giant sunflowers that are tall enough to act as a wind break, so we’ll have seed heads for the birds over the winter. She told me that they had tried planting sunflowers too (I even remember them), but that the birds would eat all the seeds before they even ripened. That is, indeed, something we will have to plan for, though I do remember eating sunflower seeds that we’d grown, so at least some of the seed heads made it to harvest!

Speaking of seeds, I’m happy to say that some summer squash seeds have started to sprout, so I’ve taken the cover off the second planting tray in the sun room. They seem to like the warmth in there! Even overnight, the temperatures have been holding out well enough that I have not put them into the mini-greenhouse in the evenings.

As for the garden plot I’m working on now, it’s going to be at least a couple of days before we can get back to it. Tomorrow, we will be heading into the city for our big shop, and on Friday, we’re expected to have thunderstorms. If I can, I’ll try and get a bit more work in there, but it’s unlikely we’ll have a chance to do that before Saturday.

It’s slower going than I’d hoped, but good progress has been made.

The Re-Farmer

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