Garden month kicked off in September. Now, in November (two months, but who’s counting?), I am declaring it done.
I am also declaring it a success.
You may recall that by mid-October I had one task left on my to-do list: clean up the vegetable garden.
My focus was on the one quadrant where Ellie and I grew some things this year. That quadrant definitely was my main priority, but two other quadrants also got some attention. That means three quarters of the garden is in pretty good shape for next year.
In our growing quadrant, I laid out planting beds and pathways mulched with woodchips. I had researched the best dimensions for no dig beds, brought my measuring tape outside, laid out one piece of string… and then I just went for it. We ended up with three wide beds. My plan was to seed them with a rye cover crop, but it’s too late in the season, so I covered them with leaves instead. We have ample supply of leaves right now.
I laid down cardboard under as much as I could, but I quickly ran out. Some weeding will be in my future, but hopefully the mulch is thick enough that it will help a bit.
Ellie wanted to plant some garlic (part of her birthday present to me). So we set up another wide planting bed and another mulched pathway in an adjacent quadrant. Then we tarped the rest.
Two quadrants done. Now onto the raised beds around the edge.
These beds hold our asparagus and grapes… and a lot of weeds. I’m embracing no dig, so my clippers got a workout as I chopped the weeds as close to the ground as I could. Around the grapes, I laid down my last stash of cardboard (pizza boxes) and topped them with more woodchips.
There was one last thing on my to-do list and it was outside the garden. So, so many weeds had grown up around the fence. I still don’t have a working weed eater, and the mower can only get so close. So my clippers went to work again, and I edged the outside of our growing quadrant. It didn’t take that long, so I kept going. Then I did a bit more and the whole perimeter was cleared. Next year, I will get the weed eater running and keep the edge tidy.
I was on a roll with my clippers, so I ventured back inside the garden and went to work on another section of raised beds. I managed to clear it. Then the mower handled a third quadrant.
Finally, I stopped. (Though I am coveting bundles of cardboard set out for recycling at local stores and eyeing the leaves that are covering so much of our lawn… I could mulch the rest of the garden and it would be so good!)
As it is now, three quarters of the garden are pretty useable. Since my goal at the start of garden month was one quadrant, we’ll definitely be ahead when spring comes.