Our 2021 garden: cleanup up and high raised bed progress

While I was working on the garlic, my daughter did a whole bunch of clean up!

She pulled the Dorinny corn stalks that were next to the squash tunnel, then pulled all the squash, gourds and melon. Aside from the sunflowers, which we will be leaving for the deer to nibble on in the winter, we just need to weed and prep the beds that will be used next year, and put away things like the bin we keep tools and supplies in, empty the rain barrel and put it away for the winter, and take down the last of the critter barriers.

Then she pulled all the purple corn stalks, removed the three layers of barriers we had around the Crespo squash, and pulled those, too. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with the corn block. There’s some very good soil there. It would be good to plant some sort of legume there, next year, to replace the nitrogen the corn used up. As for the squash hill, that’s something else I’m not sure what do do with. When we plant squash again next year, I want it to all be on the other side of the main beds, where they get more hours of sunlight.

What a sad sight. The Crespo squash had recovered so well from the critter damage! I definitely will be trying these again – with critter barriers, right from the start!

Once I finished with the last garlic bed, I pulled the frozen chard and the remaining radishes we’d hope to grow for pods.

All those radishes we planted, and these are the only ones that survived the grasshoppers!

It’s a shame we don’t have chickens. They would have loved all the greens we pulled today! Not that they will go to waste. They will get buried in the beds as we prepare them for next year. There are still four more beds in the main garden area, including the one with lettuce still in it, to clean up. The lettuce is handling the overnight cold very well, but they have become very bitter tasting, so they will be pulled. Of course, there is still the high raised bed to work on.

I had company while I worked on the garlic. The cats do like the high raised bed. I’m sure the wood is much warmer on their toes than the ground. 🙂

My daughter was able to help with the high raised bed this time. She finished making the notches on the next end piece, in the background, while I cut another 9′ side piece from the last tree we cut down. She does not like using the baby chainsaw, and much prefers a hammer and chisel, so I started on the notches on the end piece in the foreground, until the second battery on the baby chainsaw ran out. By then, it was starting to get dark, so my daughter finished up the end piece she was working on and we called it a day. You can’t see the cuts I made on the end piece in the foreground, as I rolled the log onto them. They make it less likely to roll around, should the cats decide to climb all over it again.

The side pieces that are waiting are from higher up in the tree trunk, and quite a bit thinner than the other logs. Almost too thin. Since we will probably make this bed four logs high, I am thinking I should wait until I have thicker logs to use, and save the narrower ones for the top row. The tree that’s still stuck on the branches would give me logs that are just the right size – if we could get it the rest of the way down! 😀 It’s either that, or find another dead tree to cut down. The problem with that is, most of the trees that need to be cut down are all really huge. They might be too big!

As glad as I am to have so many dead trees available that are still solid enough for this project, I’m a bit sorry to be using them. These are the trees we intended to use for the walls of the cordwood shed we plan to build as an outdoor bathroom. It’s possible, however, that we will be able to get a load of cast-off electricity poles. These are the remains of poles that broke in storms or had to be replaced for some reason, and we’re on the mailing list with the electric company. They don’t come available often, and not always in our area, but these are cedar poles and would be much better to use for cordwood walls than spruce. So maybe it’s for the better, that the dead spruces are being used to build high raised bed gardens!

The Re-Farmer

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