There had been predictions for more rain this afternoon, but when things stayed dry, I headed out with the scythe.
I worked on the area where the hay is still upright, and not flattened to the ground by wind. I took this picture when I thought I was done with scything for the day, but ended up cutting one more swath.
This means we can now access the shed we want to dismantle, now that the roof collapsed over the winter. We still need more space to stack things. I suspect much of it will go into a burn pile, but I know there is some good lumber that can still be salvaged in there, and I want to make sure there’s someplace to put them that’s off the ground. Once the remains of the roof is cleared away, I’m thinking of dragging out the old metal garage door that’s leaning against one wall and laying it on the ground, and using that to stack lumber on top of. If all goes well, we’ll have the materials to build a chicken coop that can handle our winters. I’d really like to build one on wheels, so we can set it up in different places, as needed. I hope to use the chickens as part of our gardening plans, as well as for eggs and meat.
We shall see how that works out.
In the foreground of the photo, you can see some of the dried hay from when I tried using the weed trimmer to cut this. I gathered all the previously cut hay into the wagon and hauled it to the garden.
The Boston Marrow really, really needed some help with all the grass and weeds that had grown through the straw mulch. I have not been able to get more cardboard, however…
I did have the box from when we bought the new lawn mower last year in the garage. It’s a really, really heavy cardboard, and there were so many strong metal staples in two of the corners, it was easier to just cut out that part of the cardboard, after removing all the tape I could.
Because the cardboard is so heavy, and I had just one box, I cut it up into many smaller pieces. Then, for each Boston Marrow, I cut a piece with an opening in the middle, to fit around the plants. Once each plant was done, I filled in the spaces in between with the remaining pieces.
I was short one piece to finish!
Ah, well. Close enough.
The dried hay in the wagon, however, was not enough to mulch all the squash, however. So I went back and got the freshly cut hay.
Thanks to the net that came with the wagon, I was able to jam all of it into the wagon.
It was enough to almost completely finish mulching the area.
Because there was no mulch on top of the cardboard I’d already laid down around the green patty pan squash and the hulless pumpkins, not only did the cardboard dry quickly in the sun, but pieces kept getting blown around. In this bed, it was bad enough that I weighed them down with some boards, as best I could.
Thankfully, there was enough hay to mulch all the individual squash plants, but not enough to finish filling in the spaces between the hulless pumpkins, nor to fill in up to the corn. It will be sufficient for now, though. Once the hay was down, I wet it enough that the cardboard below would be damp, too.
The green patty pan squash plants are so tiny, they’re completely hidden by the hay! I did make sure they were not covered. Honest. 😄 As small as they are, after all this time, there is still the possibility of a crop out of them. They have only 55 days to maturity. I’m hoping that, now that they’re mulched and not fighting for nutrients – and they’re no longer drowned out! – they’ll perk up, and we might have something to harvest by the end of August.
The cardboard being blown around is a problem in the big squash patch, too, but there was no more hay. I decided to use some of the remaining straw bale.
I only got one load done. Just enough to mulch two Baby Pam pumpkin plants.
This is one reason why. The handle on our new garden fork broke off!
The other reason is, while pulling the straw off the bale, there were clouds of what look to be mold spores being kicked up. I really didn’t want to be breathing that stuff!
Well, there’s a whole area just north of the garden that’s too overgrown to mow. I’ll start scything that to use on the nearby squash patch, so that I’m not having to use the wagon to bring it over.
But not today. Probably not tomorrow, either, as I will be out and about for much of the day. Saturday is supposed to hit 28C/82F, but if I get started scything early enough, I should be able to escape the heat. The hottest part of the day is typically around 5pm, so there should be plenty of time.
Little by little, it’s getting done.