Monday, September 21, 2009

Garden Update - Side Beds

side beds 2
What a beautiful fall weekend we had here in New England weather-wise. Overall, it was a productive one in the garden as well. I focused on tidying up the garden paths and preparing some side beds. About 50 percent of my plot has now been dug. I had also wanted to install some PVC hoops for my Agribon row cover as our first frost date is fast approaching but needless to say, it didn't happen. It looks like the weather is warming up this week so hopefully, I can get to it within the next couple of weeks without any major dramas at midnight.

For the side beds, I began by marking the boundaries with kitchen twine. Then came the hard part - overturning and breaking up the soil, which thankfully was grass and weed free for the most part. As I inspected the soil, I was glad to find a lot of earthworms. I've very impressed by the soil we have here in our yard - dark, crumbly and fresh smelling. However, I did end up finding quite a few large rocks and roots in this part of the garden. As a result, it took me much longer to prepare these beds compared to the ones I had done before.

side beds 3 side beds 4
Next I dug a slight trench along the border and laid down some tree trunks that we had lying around the yard. The prior owners had left them behind and since they are pine, are unsuitable for burning in our fireplace. I like being able to find a use for them. After the border was done, I removed as much grass and weeds as I could from the paths, leveled the surface with a garden rake, and then put down some cardboard to kill any remaining grass. Finally, I put a layer of straw on top of the cardboard for aesthetics.

side beds 1
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results! What do you think?


  1. Thomas, I think it looks great. There's nothing like cleaning the garden spot up, then looking at your accomplishment.

  2. I think it looks beautiful! What a good idea to use the pine logs. We just disposed of several large branches, and I didn't even think about using them in the garden :-)

    I'm anxious to see what you plant in your new garden space.

  3. Very inviting garden. Good reuse of the pine logs.

  4. Lookin' good! You will have so much space, shall we place a wager on how many seed varieties you purchase when all those winter catalogs arrive? ;)

  5. Pine won't last forever but it will look great for a year or two! But I'm sure that composting materials was part of your goal right? IE cardboard and straw? Anyway everyone is right, it looks fabulous.


  6. this looks beautiful! and i envy your nice crumbly brown in Virginia, even after years of amending the soil, it's still mostly red clay.