26 April 2021
Good weather today and plenty of work to get the garden ready this year.
Spent the day cleaning the debris from the garden. We tried putting the corn stalks through the chipper, did not work as well as I had hoped. Decided that we could burn those later. The compost pile needs ashes to work well. The limbs that were piled by the garden did not produce the amount of mulch that I had hoped.
Ran the tiller around the outside of the garden fence to break up the sod. I intend to plant wildflowers around the perimeter to attract more pollinators this year. I may have to apprentice with a beekeeper next year if this does not work.
The garden is somewhat dry, no rain in the forecast for two days and the latest frost is tomorrow. This is the best weekend to start the garden so I hauled the tiller up the garden after supper. In two hours I made the first east-west pass and started on the north-south mid-depth till. I made it three quarters of the way before I ran out of daylight.
I finished the mid-depth tilling after work, then went full-depth north-south and east-west. I am building raised beds this year, with a few vertical beds for tomatoes, cucumbers, peas and beans. I think east-west rows have worked best over the past ten years so I will commit to that for this first year of raised bed gardening.
I gave the wildflower outer bed another till. I’ll cast the seeds tomorrow evening before the rains come. Although it is starting to look like we may not get the expected rain. Hoping that the wildflowers will overcome the grass that I was unable to disturb with the tiller.
We measured the garden today, around 44 feet square. The recommendation from the raised bed book is to allow for twenty-four inch growing rows separated by thirty inch access rows. Looks like I get six of those in the fenced plot. I picked up four bales of straw today, which will probably allow for a little more than a single growing row. I can send the boys to the farm store for more once I actually lay the first row.
Decided on eighteen inch raised rows with thirty inch walking rows, giving me around ten forty foot rows. It took me two hours to construct the first one tonight. I may give the garden another till before I do more, the soil was pretty compacted over the past week. Looks like a bale of straw will provide a base for one row.