Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Good Tilled Earth

"But where our hearts truly lie is in peace and quiet and good tilled earth."
The Movie
Adapted from the work of JRR Tolien

I have to say that I agree. 

Having recently broken ground (the old fashioned way) for my garden, I take a lot of pleasure in the sight of the crumbly brown beds.  I can't wait to tuck in my cool weather goodies!

First on the list?

Brussels Sprouts
and I'll throw in some beautiful Nasturtiums for color

Erik removed the sod for me on a beautiful, huge plot.  It's 28' by 9'.  I have it shaped as a keyhole and will be planting it as a cottage or kitchen garden.  This combines herbs, veggies and flowers all in the same space resulting in beauty and increased pollination.

The first day, I broke ground.  At first, I tried with just a hoe - but that was harder and I couldn't break the ground as deeply as I needed to.  Truly, since I'm going to be packing in so many things per square foot, I should have applied double digging.  That involves removing the first 12 inches of soil, breaking the soil beneath that and replacing the soil with amendments.  For a couple days, I was all gung ho to do it.  But then reality set in.  I'm a weakling.  One with two girls that don't necessarily find double digging as interesting as I do. 

After I realized that the hoe wasn't doing what I needed it to do, I broke out the spading fork.  It looks like a medieval instrument of torture.  But it got the job done.  I can tell where I used just the hoe and where I used the spading fork.  There's about an 8' stretch that will have to be broken some more - it's only about 4 inches deep.  

Well, this is getting long, so I'll try to wrap it up.  I broke ground for the rest and added some of the amendments to the top.  Compost and some composted steer manure which will act like time released plant food. Today, I just finished working that in with a hoe and added another two bags of compost.  Seriously - the soil I started with was just glorified sand.  I have a big compressed bag of peat moss to add too - I'll put that on top before I finish preparing the beds so it doesn't blow away.  The peat moss will help to hold in the water so the plants can get the food and the water they need.

The last thing I'll do is to use a soil rake to spread the soil evenly around.  The result will be soft, crumbly comfy beds for my veggies. 

*PS.  Both of the girls have already learned to stay off of the beds.  I'm so impressed with all of us!

1 comment:

Alisa said...

way to go! Looks like I'll need to take lessons ftom you when I get a bit of my own dirt!!