Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Outdoor Priorities

Saturday Papa Rooster and I drove back to the old homestead to pick up our camper/trailer--the final leg of our move. While Papa Rooster dealt with two flat tires, I dug up young raspberry plants and took a few starts of some other perennials from my old flower beds--Shasta daisies, yellow sundrops, a bearded iris, purple-flowered nepeta, bleeding heart and columbine.

I was happy to have them, but dismayed to realize that I now had to spend significant hours gardening here at the new house! I've been getting nowhere fast, it seems, on the inside of the house.

It was easy to find room in my flower beds for the transplants, but the intended raspberry bed was a different story. Our house was vacant for two summers before we bought it, so the weeds had taken over the raised beds the former owners left us. I discussed the situation with my dad on Father's Day, hoping for an easy, organic solution (since I want to grow food in those beds), but he said, "Sorry, honey, but there's only one answer to that problem that I know of: Boys."

So there's Bantam13. He and Bantam17, working alongside me, were indeed the best solution! This shot was taken after we'd already started weeding the bed he's sitting in. There's a second bed behind him that hasn't been touched yet, so you can see what we were dealing with.

Two and a half hours later...

Those are big beds too--16 ft long by almost 4 feet wide.

Yesterday I bought 12 bags of topsoil and 20 bags of the mulch that was on sale...and put half of that down in this bed where I finally planted my raspberries.

I laid the mulch down thick, because I don't want to weed raspberries again for a good long time!

Now I'm just praying that most of them make it, after all our hard work. If they do, it will still probably be two years before we get many berries.

So today's project is spreading the rest of the topsoil and mulch in the other bed, and laying landscape fabric and mulch down under and around the stepstones. I think I'll plant some lettuces and a cherry or grape tomato plant in the other bed, but that's as ambitious as I feel right now. My main goal is to keep the weeds at bay....


Bronwen said...

Hooray for boy power! Although if not channeled and guided it can mean holes to Australia dug in a new bed!!!
But they are so happy revelling in mud, soil, sand, leaf mulch.... and last time I looked out my guys were climbing over the compost heap!!! (may I add that it has a piece of carpet on top! but still! eurgh!)
And as for those raspberries, if you love them and nurture them they may well reward you with berries next year...

TwoSquareMeals said...

I have some raised beds that look like that, too. It only takes a few months of neglect here for things to get out of whack, so I can only blame myself. But can I borrow your boys? Mine are too young to do the grunt work. Glad you are having fun making your new home yours. The inside stuff can wait until winter!

Islandsparrow said...

Wow - they look terrific - what a lot of work. The reward of raspberries will be that much sweeter!!