Friday, May 29, 2015

Back Yard Project: New Garden Bed Prep

While the trench is being dug right through the garden bed on the east side of the house, I am taking advantage of the opportunity to redesign the whole bed. The tractor path coming from the front of the house too steep, slopes outward and goes close to the base of the tree nearest the house where it is causing the soil to become compacted around the tree's roots. 
I marked out the new path, lengthening it so it would be less steep and moving it equidistant between the trees.

Previously this area was a garden of river stone on weed cloth. The river stones were a problem. Litter from the overhead canopy continually falls to the ground, breaks down and turns to soil that supports new plants. These 'weeds' then need to be pulled out from between the river stones to keep the whole area looking tidy. Walking on river stones is difficult. Pulling weeds out from between river stones is tiresome and time consuming and needs to be done often. I feel the esthetics of round river stones does not fit with the forest ecosystem on a hill. The river stones were imported.
I have a big problem with weed cloth. It stops 'food' from falling down to the soil around the tree and produces sterile conditions under the cloth. 

I have lifted and piled up all of the river stones with the last few left to move seen in the image above. Friends have helped me with this big job.

I have pulled up all of the weed cloth to expose the lifeless compacted soil that now needs remediation.

I have collected up saw dust and shavings from the construction site and spread them out on the newly exposed soil

Rotting wood provides a host of fungi and insects to get working on the soil.

I collected up the blasted granite rock exposed when the trench was dug. This rock came from the area blasted out for the house foundation. It belongs to the site.

I collected up non-shinny cardboard and paper to lay down on top of the grass to smother it. 
The green-lidded container has rock dust to be sprinkled on  the ground to stimulate organic activity.

I have collected many bags of used coffee grounds to add as another layer.
I am ready. 
Once the trench is laid with cables and is back-filled I can start making the new garden bed. 

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