It's been a while since I've done a garden update. Summer is really hanging on this year, so even though the plants are looking a little worse for wear, at least they're still producing. My back yard bale garden is fairly ragged by this point. The bales are sinking, and most of my tomato plants were struck with blight, but they yielded fruit anyway, enough for several batches of Daniel's favorite late summer dish: gazpacho!
|Sad, bedraggled tomatoes.|
Since my straw bale garden was at least partially successful, I've been thinking about how to expand that garden space out back. The soil has got to be terrible, full of weeds and tree roots and spruce cones. There is no point in digging down and trying to amend, so I want to build up. But how? I'm hesitant to install something permanent like raised beds because we're still holding out hope that the big renovation can happen next year, and I'm guessing our back yard will be used to park big trucks and store materials until they're used.
Then yesterday my next door neighbor (the nice one) suggested we try lasagna gardening, a method of building a garden where you put down thick cardboard and newspaper to smother weeds, then pile organic matter on top to break down and turn into soil. Easy enough, I thought. So this afternoon, instead of cleaning the house and working on some other projects in the basement like I'd been intending, I spent a few hours outside spreading cardboard and newspaper and covering it with compost and the straw bales with nothing left growing in them. Now this is what I've got:
It's not pretty, I know. And eventually I need 24" of stuff piled up on there to break down over the winter; right now it's only about 4".
Not only is the back yard a work in progress, it's going to look worse before it looks better. That's true of everything in my house, though, alas!