Monday, April 11, 2011

The Freshly Mulched Garden

April Garden 1
As the weekend drew to a close, we were able to haul the remaining compost over to our "homegrown" pile behind the shed, smooth over the planting beds and lay down some fresh straw along the garden paths. Now that Marc is able to spend more time with me in the garden, we can get much more done in one weekend. One of the things I like best about gardening is being able to stand back and look at a finished project with pride. Maybe it's because vegetable gardening is something born from your own two hands (I doubt that we would feel the same way if we had paid someone else to do it). I also enjoy its communal aspects as well. Marc's mother came over to help out, our neighbors were out tidying up their yard and our children were running around both properties laughing and playing. It's times like these that make me appreciate the simpler things in life.

Anyway, here is what it looks like now:

Freshly Mulched Garden
A half bale of straw was enough to cover this space. I have to admit that straw isn't really my favorite form of mulch but it does present a nice contrast to the dark raised beds, especially when it's still relatively fresh and yellow.

Freshly Mulched Garden 2
I also got around to sowing some shell peas, snow peas and French Breakfast radishes. Still no signs of the Fava beans I planted two weeks ago (though it has only warmed up in the past week). Should I be worried? I might have to start some indoors just to be on the safe side.
This week I'll also be sowing some carrots and mesclun mix and transplanting several varieties of broccoli. With temperatures remaining in the 6o's this week, I finally feel as though the Spring gardening season has begun.

Compost Pile
On a final note, I tidied up our compost pile a bit to make way for the excess we purchased. I moved all of the fresh(er) garden waste to the left. The waste to the right has broken down quite a bit but still needs several more months to finish.

Compost Pile 2
We piled the remaining compost onto the semi-decomposed waste. Hopefully, this will help speed the process along. As you can see, my composting pen is pretty lame. Until I find a composting system that I really like, this will have to do.

23 comments:

  1. Gosh Thomas, you sure do have a beautiful garden...bravo.

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  2. That looks very neat, Thomas!!! Aha! I see you are self-sufficient when it comes to compost. What could be more better than homemade compost! I don't mulch here 'coz that gives a safe space for the darned ants to breed.

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  3. Lovely, Thomas! It looks so neat with the straw on the paths. I love straw, but I think I'm getting wood chips and shreds, unless I can talk someone into lifting a bale of straw into the pickup and then out to the garden!

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  4. I always think a freshly mulched garden looks like a fresh coat of paint.

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  5. My fava beans were stolen this year -- little holes appeared along the fence where the beans were -- nearly all were precision strikes. Squirrels?

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  6. Gorgeous! I love how neat your garden looks!

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  7. Everything looks great, and the compost area is fine! You will have quicker compost when you do it in an area that is so easy to access and turn - that's my problem, getting in there and turning it!

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  8. Where did you get your straw? I've been having a heck of a time finding any for sale in my area.

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  9. GZMG - I get mine a local feed store. At 8 bucks a large bale, it's pretty reasonable.

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  10. Truly, thing of beauty!! All I can say is : wow!!

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  11. It looks so nice. Glad you and the family had a great weekend.

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  12. I love the look of straw. I'll probably end up with wood/bark chips of some kind on the ground.

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  13. I worry about straw being the ideal habitat for all manner of creatures that I want to keep out of my garden (and off my skin) so I use stone dust.

    Re your fava beans - it took forever for our peas to germinate this year. They were planted on March 12 and germinated just this past week. I suppose a critter could have gotten them but you can check on that easily enough.

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  14. Truly beautiful..and I know the work that went into making it look great yet, be responsible and productive.

    Am impressed.

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  15. Thomas, your garden looks like a work of art... absolutely beautiful. By the way, I tried starting some Fava beans indoors several weeks ago, and cannot believe they rotted on me, so I decided to direct sow two days ago. I understand they can take several weeks to germinate.
    PS: bet Jonathan is growing leaps and bounds

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  16. Looks awesome! I love the straw for contrast and weed control!

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  17. That garden is a thing of beauty. Excellent work. Love your hoop house. ~ Dawn

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  18. The garden area looks so neat and tidy! I love straw, particularly as an addition to my compost pile but cannot use it anymore for mulch or walkways covers because in our rainy cool climate it just becomes a safe haven for our mega slugs. I keep the walk ways clear of weeds and exposed - which keeps the slug population down.

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  19. It looks so beautiful and tidy! We (help from the hubby...I know what you mean about getting help out there!) just expanded our garden to about 3 times the size it was...now about 480 sq ft. I'm excited to fill it! I think I'll be using your garden as inspiration... I like the look of the straw too...is it slippery? You say it's not your first preference. What would you choose instead? It looks wonderful...I like the contrast too.

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  20. Hi Michelle - hope all is well. If I were too do it again, I would clear the paths and use wood chips. Now the that paths are free of grass, I may switch over next year.

    The straw isn't slippery at all. Can't wait to see how your new garden turns out!

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  21. Love your compost area!! Gave me an idea for what I need to do with mine... we have goats and rabbits that use straw/hay and I need a large area to lay down spent materials to compost over the summer when I have more than I need in the garden. HOWEVER. I also have free range chickens that LOVE the straw and hay. (handy when they are scratching it into an unused garden, NOT so handy when they are spreading it all over and OFF of a pile I want to keep in place.) This system would work great!!

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  22. Just checking out your site for the first time - - nice! I'm very impressed and I love all the photos, the archives, the topics....well, all of it!

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