Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Neatening things up

I have been threatening to do something about the flowerbeds and the grape row since last spring.  I finally got the bed in front of the house taken care of, but there were more things to do.

That is what i have been doing for the last week.

This bed was full of all sorts of things that were getting choked out by goldenrod. I actually made a real effort to weed all of it out last year, but it was a losing battle.  Once that stuff takes hold, its all over the place.  I'm going to miss a lot of plants that were in there, but i have to make the sacrifice.  I couldn't take care of it and it would be slowly destroyed anyway.  So i dug in and did it.

This is where i had to take a rest on this one.  I really needed to get to the grape row started too.  I wish, once again, that i had done before pics, but if i really need them i can look at pics of previous tears.

So, this is after digging out every bulb and iris that remained. I still need to Roundup the surviving goldenrod and lay down the landscape fabric, then mulch.
Right side, from my side window looking toward the nice neighbors' house
And the rest of it.
I gave our nice neighbors first dibbs on whatever they wanted from it, they took quite a few things which made a good dent in the work i needed to do.  I dug out another two boxes of plant material, which went to my mom.  After so many weeds choking things for the last 2-3 years, there wasn't as much left as i thought there would be.

Now the major project which has taken many days, was the grape row.  I had to remove all the landscape fabric i laid down last year because the wind blew it so hard it tore away from everything i had holding it.

I had to move one Edelweiss grape from the right end to the left end because it was in the right spot to get almost no sun.  So now the grape row is bookended by the Edelweiss vines.   That shadier spot will get 2 new Elderberry plants that should arrive by UPS on Wednesday.

The project ended up being more ambitious than i had expected.  It needed a string line pegged in, then the edge cut in... the landscape edging was very challenging to install and i got it as perfect as i had patience for.  I'll fine tune it as summer goes on.  Then the fabric went down.  A calm day began to get breezy right about then, lol.

About 14 bags of mulch later....

Still not quite finished.  I have more fabric, but we need another 12 bags of mulch at least to finish this end and the other bed.

The extra part that juts out is for the dwarf Stanley Prune plum.  I hope there is enough room for it and i'm glad i got a dwarf.  That tree is coming in the shipment with the elderberries and also 3 Lingonberry plants.

My dad came over on Sunday and tilled the garden. Hubby acquiesced to the extra 6 feet i wanted. So now my garden is about 40'x30'- i'll get a more accurate size when the time comes to string line for the rows.

One more tilling is needed and then i can shovel out the walking rows and get the row cover supports put in.  First planting time is in about 3 weeks or less.  I can do radishes first and shortly after that,  broccoli, cabbage, onions and other such things can go in.

The asparagus is coming up and so is the horseradish

I also managed to get in the first spraying on the apple tree on Sunday.

I also completely removed the silky dogwood (gave to my parents), then pruned the hydrangea and the purple smoke tree.  The smoke tree is also being trained to grow toward the opposite side of the bed.

I am so glad i have made headway in the fruit and berry gardens.  It was tormenting me in my sleep.  It will be a huge relief when it is done and the weed-blocking landscape fabric and deep mulch should reduce weeds to almost nothing.  Any weed that pokes its head up along the edges will be easy to cap off with Roundup.

Looking forward to a Summer of moderate maintenance.