It’s been so gorgeous and unseasonably warm for May, and so welcome in the face of this extended lockdown happening here in Ontario. I timed my vacation perfectly and am taking advantage of the weather to get a boost on the garden.
The garden took a turn late April, it was not the same design I had planned last fall. Mike was able to get access to a tractor and so we decided to accommodate the labour gain and use the tractor to move a large portion of the wood chips and soil to the garden location. The tradeoff though was that the neat rows would not be happening. I disliked that very much.
I like order and clean lines and I was well on my way. It was hard to agree, but I also had already moved about 2000 wheel barrels full of soil and welcomed the idea of an end in sight. I gave in late April and Mike got to work with the tractor and a neighbourhood friend.
The garden base from the fall effort remained, and we built directly on top of it. Well, we dumped the soil directly on top of it. Then we spread it around using the machine and it started to take shape. I've been learning so much about machines and how to wield them as a tool since moving, machines are used for everything. I digress. Here is the garden after the tractor dumped the soil and center path of wood chips.
The above photo is about 2/3 of the full garden area, but I left the other side untouched for a fun surprise for a future story. So with the soiled and chipped areas, using my hand gridding tool, a challenging to source item in Canada but I stumbled on this local supplier, I easily measured 3ft rows: one for a garden, one for a path. After measuring, I dug out the path to create a taller bed and make room for the wood chips to be nestled in. It was also my last attempt at order and clean lines. It was well worth the effort as it really helps retain the chips in their intended areas. So far it’s looking really good:
Comparing that to last year and you'll notice all the changes. To summarize, so far we have added:
1. a bridge with reused wood from the bar
This quick job was focused on recycling the barn book and keeping access to the garden easy and mud free. You’ll notice the ruts in the ground near the bridge. The tractor left huge wheel wells that are the perfect situation for standing water and mosquitoes. Gah, problems to manage! The bridge makes it really easy to come back and forth with heavy loads without being concerned you’d sink into the mud. All around success.
2. water via a hose from the main house
We needed 300ft of hose, and a few areas to coil them up easily for storage while the lawn is being cut. Now that we have water there, I'm dreaming up ways to make it easier and more efficient.
3. a dedicated Blueberry patch
We're planning for a total of 5 but so far only have 2. These bushes will provide wind shelter to the Bees in the winter and shade in the summer. I'm very nervous about growing Blueberries as they need way more acidic soil than most plants.
4. the bees have been moved to get more direct sun
There was no wind break and while we are building it up with shrubs and trees, we will also be adding in temporary walls before the fall for that added wind protection over the winter. We still have not received our new nucs since the discovery this spring.
5. a canopy hammock
A total splurge, but a nice treat to ourselves to enjoy while we spend long days down in the garden. We have a tote underneath that holds pillows and sheets so we can get cozy and nap on the hammock! It’s a dream.
I have just started planting the seedlings from the indoor greenhouse and directly sowing others. Once we're done, we'll give you a another aerial view and walk you through the whole thing! For now, here is a quick walk up the main path and a view of the bridge: