Yesterday, the girls were able to take our two black tarps and set them up on a future garden bed area.
We mulched this area with straw last year, as a start to try and amend the soil and add organic matter to it. The old garden area had been plowed probably the fall before we moved in. I don’t actually know. It left the entire area very rough, but the ground itself is incredibly hard and full of rocks. I remember as a child, we were constantly picking rocks out of here, though one section (now full of trees) was so bad, my parents stopped trying to plant anything in it.
We want to amend the soil by adding organic matter to it, but we have also not decided where we will be permanently adding garden beds. For much of this area, we are already planning of eventually putting fruit and nut trees, though for this year, outside of the section in the photo, we will be planting giant sunflowers.
The black tarps are there just to warm the soil faster. Along the North side, I plan to plant birdhouse gourds in a row running East to West. In front of it, we will plant pattypan squash and the zucchini mix, in rows running North to South, all with trellises.
That may change, if none of the birdhouse gourd seeds sprout! Still no sign of them right now.
After this year, I hope we will have cleaned things up and worked things out enough to decide where we want to plant raised bed gardens. And by “raised bed”, I don’t mean the ones I’ve seen videos of, where people just border an area with rocks or a layer of bricks that get referred to as raised beds. I am thinking of beds that may be as high as 3 or 4 feet. Accessibility is what I have in mind for these, as my body ages and I know my mobility in my hips and knees will continue to decrease. This means finding permanent locations, and from what I’m seeing, this may end up being on the South side of the house, rather than the North.
We shall see.
Among the other things I finally got to today was dismantling the cat condo I put together out of cardboard boxes and rigid insulation. The remains of the boxes went to the burn barrel area, but I wanted to keep the insulation for potential future uses.
I am amused by the very defined areas that cats used it for scratching! These pieces were all in the backs of each “condo”, and the scratches near the “ceiling”.
No wonder other pieces were falling inside. I cut them in sizes that would support each other. That doesn’t work if they get moved around by enthusiastic scratching! 😀
Another thing I finally set up for a bit of cleaning was the large crocheted blanket that was set up on my dad’s old swing bench, to help the cats keep warm.
The peed and crapped all over it. 😦
I’d already draped it over the sawhorses and gave one side a thorough soaking and de-pooping with the hose. Today, I did the other side on the clothes line.
The blanket, on its own, is already pretty heavy. Full of water, it probably weighs more than 20 pounds. It stretched the clothes line until the bottom was piled on the ground. The clothes line is on a pulley system, so clothes can be hung from the platform at one end, and the line moved as needed. (When I was a kid, there were three lines set up, but there’s just the one, now.) So I used some rope to tie the top and bottom parts of the line closer together, then slid that over to lift the blanket off the ground a bit.
I had actually tightened the line before putting the blanket on it, too!
We have another, smaller blanket we use for the cats. It was covering a shelf, so it didn’t get filthy like this one did. It, too, got a soak from the hose to try and clean it. Both are way to heavy to ever put into a normal washing machine, so a hose is the best we can do, right now!
I am hoping that, sometime next week, we’ll finally be able to empty the sun room to give the floor a thorough cleaning. We should be able to continue cleaning out the old kitchen, too, so we can turn it into a pantry.
Little by little, it’ll get done!