Our 2021 garden: last beets, and mulching

I’m taking a bit of a break from working outside, to avoid the hottest part of the day. We’ve reached 22C/71F, and our high is supposed to be 23C/74F.

One of the things I’ve been trying to do early in the day is water all the beds that we’ve planted. I’ve been concerned about them, since we are so incredibly dry right now. It’s hard to give the beds even a shallow watering, never mind the deep watering they need. The problem is that the surface dries out so quickly. What we need is a mulch. The only thing we have for mulch right now is straw. Which is fine if I’m mulching around larger plants, like when we transplant our squashes, etc. Not so good for things like greens.

What I do have, however, is a lawn mower.

So after I planted the last of our beet seeds – three types all mixed up – in the L shaped bed in the old kitchen garden, I brought out the mower.

We already had some chopped up straw that had been on top of the garlic beds; we’d removed most of it and it’s been sitting in the kiddie pool, waiting for use. I chopped all that up a couple more times with the mower, then filled the wheelbarrow with more straw and chopped it up several times, too.

The finished mulch, which now included leaf litter that was on top of the lawn, went back into the kiddie pool, which made it very easy to drag around to where it was needed.

The mulch is so light, I could let the wind distribute most of it for me!

The L shaped bed is all beets. I had thought to put some carrots along the edge of the bed, but there was no room! In fact, I ended up broadcasting the last of the seeds in another little spot.

The patch of mulched soil near the plastic and the tree is where the last of the seeds went. Almost all of these beets are last year’s seed, so who knows how many will germinated.

I then scattered mulch onto the poppy bed, too.

After thoroughly watering everything, I moved on to the big garden.

Once again, I could let the wind lightly cover the beds for me. The beds at each end, with the onions, got fully covered. The spinach beds have their first sowing in the middles only, so I just focused on that area. When we sow more in another week, we can add more mulch then.

Everything got another thorough watering. All the beds will be watered again this evening, when it starts to cool down.

Until then, my next job is to mark off and start preparing the block to direct sow the one variety of corn we have that needs to be planted before last frost. That’s going to be out by the peas, and that’s where we’ll be working on for the next while, as we prepare beds for the beans, corn and radishes, sunflowers, squash and gourds. Then, last of all, the block at the opposite end of the garden, where the Montana Morado corn will be transplanted. None of the sunflowers or corn starts have germinated yet, but it hasn’t been very long yet. I’m just impatient! 😀

We will also use the lawnmower to chop up more straw for more light surface mulch. That, at least, I’ll be able to work on in the shade this time! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

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