Our 2021 garden: beans, and future mulch!

So… today didn’t go quite as planned, originally. What else is new? 😀

But first, I want to share this picture.

This bed is the yellow bush beans. The green and purple ones look much the same. Even more beans have been sprouting, and it looks like we’ve got an almost 100% germination rate already! Even in the spaces where there are no beans sprouted yet, I’m seeing bumps and cracks in the soil, showing that something is trying to push it’s way through. Some were so close to the surface, they got uncovered when I watered them!

My original plan had been to finish the new corn block, so the Montana Morado corn could be transplanted, after I got back from helping my mother with her grocery shopping. Instead, I decided the lawn needed to be mowed, first. Not just because we haven’t mowed it yet this year (even with the rains we did get, it wasn’t all that overgrown), but because I wanted the grass clippings. Which meant using the push mower, with its collection bag.

I started off dumping the grass clippings into the wagon, with the intention of hauling the clippings to the garden beds where they will be used as mulch, but I realized the constant stopping and starting and hauling would take too long; particularly since the wagon can only hold 3 bag fulls. Which is more than the wheelbarrows, but still…

So I started dumping the clippings into the compost ring.

This is the clippings from just the south yards, minus two bag fulls. The compost ring was almost empty when I started.

My only concern with this is all the Chinese Elm seeds in there. Piles of grass clippings get shocking hot, though, so I’m hoping that will kill off at least some of the seeds. :-/

When I started on the East yard, I had to find some place else for the clippings, so they got added to the old compost pile. The one we haven’t been able to use, because when we started to dig into it, we kept finding garbage and branches. I think we got all the garbage out, except for maybe a few stray bits. Then when the East and North yards were done, and I started on the West yard, I had to start a third pile.

I didn’t get all the mowing done; a couple of areas just don’t have enough grass to mow, and I didn’t try to go into the trees at all, yet. I want to mow the areas around the old garden, and the new garden beds, more to keep down the poplars that keep trying to spread, and we need to do the parts of the old garden we haven’t put beds into, as well. That part is the most difficult, because it’s so rough. Last year, even at the highest setting, I still kept catching rocks and clumps of soil. In some areas, it’ll be easier to use the weed trimmer, which we can actually do, now that we have enough extension cords to reach all of it.

After the mowing was done for today, I took the plants back inside before going into the house, and noticed some of the squash are starting to show flower buds! They need to get into the ground right away, so they’ll have the nutrients, space – and pollinators! – they need. The girls and I were going to make a trip into the city tomorrow for some shopping they need to do, but that will be pushed back. Instead, I will be focusing on finishing that corn block and transplanting the Montana Morado corn, while the girls will be focusing on building the squash beds. The summer squash will have beds build where the sunflowers were planted last year, where the ground had been mulched. The winter squash will need to have beds built at the squash tunnel, too. The bottom supports and mesh will have to be done after they are transplanted. They will be planted on the outside, so can work from the inside to avoid the plants, if we have to. If we end up having more transplants than there is space at the squash tunnel, the extras will also be planted where the sunflowers were last year, in the section that runs close to where the squash tunnel is. The only thing we need to make sure of is to leave a gap where we can walk through while dragging the hose to reach the rain barrel.

I figure, by the time we’re done, we’ll be out of grass clippings again. 😀

We shall see how it works out!

The Re-Farmer

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