I mentioned in a recent This and That post that we had most of our garden planning done and were looking forward to getting started. Well, we finally had the mulch for our beds delivered today! Jonathan and the Blessings put in a ton of work this afternoon/early evening and got quite a bit done.
Prior to today, we got all the old stuff (cardboard, rocks, stakes, etc) out of the garden; Jonathan mowed it all flat; and the boys and Jonathan teamed up to spread a layer of fertilizer (aka chicken manure) around the garden area.
Today, the first layer down was the paper. It's just plain brown builders' paper and will serve to help smother the weeds. Newsprint was another option, but between the fact that we don't subscribe to a newspaper and that we would have needed to put down four layers of newsprint to one layer of builders' paper... well, the builders' paper won out.
And with all the wood it took just to hold the paper down, I'm glad we weren't using newspaper!
Lee Reich's Weedless Gardening suggests wetting down the paper before putting on the mulch for beds and paths, but since the forecast calls for rain again this weekend and the ground is quite wet already, we chose to forgo that step.
Because the ground is so wet and soft, we had the mulch dumped in the front yard instead of brought around to the garden area:
Davey, Barak, Elanor, and Josiah worked at loading wheelbarrows of mulch and bringing them around back. Katie helped some with that, as well as with bringing 2x4s out to the garden.
This hen enjoyed some peace and quiet (aka reprieve from the pesky rooster) inside the garden fence while we worked:
Jonathan used 2x4s to lay out the beds:
We just have the mulch for the beds so far, so the path areas will be empty until we get our wood chips (hopefully early next week). Once we have both the mulch and the woodchips in, we plan to take out the boards.
And here is our progress at the end of the day:
One last bit of gardening news: I finally got the tomatoes and peppers planted on Sunday. The tomato seedlings have definitely sprouted! It's funny to me how they are all reaching for the flourescent kitchen light in this picture (and pardon the quality; the flash died in our camera).
The peppers are a bit slower, but we expect to see them sprouting any day now.
Whew, hope you're not too tired of hearing about our garden. There's much more to come over the next several months.