I engaged in a fair bit of destruction this past weekend.

Remember how I originally laid out the garden?

A few straight beds, but at least half the useable area taken up with looping, curved beds in (what was supposed to be) a Nautilus kind of shape.

It could have been really nice, especially if I had managed to fill the beds with swathes of different colored flowers or something.

But in the end, practicality has won out. The curving beds were all different shapes and sizes. They were impossible to mow or till, and I couldn’t easily & accurately figure out their square footage when trying to estimate soil amendments & fertilizers. They were hard to plant in.

In the end, they were just too difficult for a working kitchen garden, and I sadly and reluctantly had to rip them out, pulling up all the landscape fabric pathways that had been long-buried in six inches of mulch and generations upon generations of crabgrass and other noxious weeds.

I was a little sad to see all that work we’d done – me, my inlaws, my parents – being torn out. But it was not all for nothing.

When I was done, with farm girl helper to show scale.

Because all that decomposed mulch got dumped right back onto the soil of course – and the worms! You should have seen the worms. They were everywhere. And huge.

So of course my little hillbilly child took off her shoes and socks and got right in the squishy mud and caught as many worms as she could… (not in that particular order, of course, sigh). Some she fed to the chickens and some she threw into the strawberry bed. She is very excited for strawberries this year and wants them to taste as good as possible. :)

And then I spread a couple hundred pounds of organic amendments – mostly slow-release minerals like bonemeal and greensand. This is the first time I’m using the scientific method for soil amendment, not just the “throw a little of this random stuff down before growing and it’ll probably be fine” mentality. More on that in a different post – but I did a lot of math this weekend.

Then I rented a tiller.

Tillers suck, and I hate them, it was loud and smelly and too hard, and the $1400 machine just kept getting gummed up with clay and weeds and then the durn thing broke anyway, so after a day of nearly nonstop cussing and sore muscles we also now get to go harangue someone until we get our money back.

Still, it worked those amendments into the top 3″ at least, more or less. I should be able to go more or less no-till now, at least on the soggiest beds. Maybe I can see if this area is any easier to till in the Fall? This was after a long week of warm sunny days, when it should have been perfect; maybe our land is just not meant for Spring tilling.

2 Responses to “Practicality”

  1. ohiofarmgirl Says:

    great work!!!! and yeah – straight lines make for easy tilling….

  2. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Easy tilling, easy planning, easy planting… and Lord knows, what I need right now is more easy! :)

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