Friday, May 18, 2012

Garden Preparations

Plans4You 

It's been a lot of work over a lot of weeks with a lot of help from the hubby, the twenty-year-old, and even the two-year-old, but the garden is actually beginning to look like a garden.  I decided on the newspaper method, and it was rather easy.  However, it was easiest after we got our system down.  I recommend having someone help you if you are doing a large area like we were.  One person lays the newspaper in a single layer, slightly overlapping, while the other person has the hose on a mist setting and wets the newspaper.  This prevents it from blowing away.  We worked in sections topping the wet newspaper with just enough wood chips to hold the newspaper in place until the entire garden was covered.  Once we ran out of newspaper we finished covering the surface with an ample amount of wood chips.  

Some information that I've read on using the newspaper method to prepare your garden bed included adding a layer of dirt between the newspaper and the wood chips.  I chose to omit this step.  Our dirt is nice and black, and the newspaper should be plenty easy to dig through with the trowel in order to plant my seeds or started plants, so I figured it would have just been wasted effort.  I'm a big fan of using wood chips in the garden for a couple of reasons, so I just went that route.  

In my experience wood chips help to deter weed growth, help the ground maintain moisture, and they decompose adding to the richness of the soil.  Sure, they need to be replaced each year, but since they're free, and they earn their keep, why not use them?  Not to mention, I love the finished look they give the garden.

This is as far as we made it before running out of newspaper.
We need to move the pile of rocks and finish covering the south end of the garden,
but that won't take long at all.
My mom is coming over this weekend, and we are painting the smaller rocks as markers for the plants that will get planted in the garden.  We have plenty of them on the property.  I'm all for working with what the land gives you.  The larger rocks will continue their way around the end of the garden to create the border.  Natural, free, and beautiful.  Love it!

I love Pinterest!  That's where I got the idea for the newspaper method, painting the rocks as markers, and organizing seeds in photo albums.  I had some photo sleeves that I got for free a couple of years ago.  I wasn't sure what I'd use them for.  They're intended for adding photos to a scrapbook page.  I used them to organize my seeds, and I love the outcome.

Each sleeve set has six pockets.

I put one packet of seeds per pocket so that the back of the packet
could be read without removing it from the sleeve.

Then I stood them up in a handy basket that I already had.
I like this particular basket because they fit nicely,
it's durable and easily cleaned, and it has a handle.


Now that I'm all organized, finishing up the garden this weekend should be a breeze.  With a little water, sunshine, and prayer we should be well on our way to creating a beautiful oasis in our yard that will provide us with glorious flowers to behold and enough delicious produce to put up and share with family and friends. I am very excited to watch this area of our property come to life.

8 comments:

Illinois Lori said...

Hi Tina! So sorry I didn't see this to comment earlier; I'll put a more detailed instruction on how to do the linking in my next FFG post :-)

Are you using this to smother lawn and create a planting bed? I've done it many, many times, but always used 3 pieces of newspaper, and then covered it with a good 2 to 3 inches of mulch. My favorite time to do it was in late fall, when I could mix leaves into the mulch, and then let it overwinter under the snow. In spring, I'd till in the broken down mulch and leaf mold (the newspaper would be completely gone, as would the old lawn underneath!), and then we'd plant. But 8 weeks would do, too, so I did it in spring as well. Had to add compost then. The idea is no light and no air can get to the grass. Hope it works for you, I'll look forward to seeing the results!

Blessings,
Lori

Simple Living said...

Blog is absolutely fantastic! All great information can be helpful in some or the other way. Keep updating the blog,looking forward for more content.

Lisa {DoleValleyGirl} said...

We also used the newspaper method this year to help with weed control around our raised beds. Some weeds will grow through anything, I think, so we just keep on pulling them. BUT, we're really happy overall with the success we're enjoying thus far -- it's still early in the season to claim victory. :) I hope you share photos of your painted rocks when you finish them; we also plan to do this (thanks to Pinterest)!

Happy gardening,

Lisa :)

Contemporary Furniture said...

You are indeed very organize. Thanks a lot for this.

Tina said...

No problem, Lori! We aren't covering grass. I actually cleared an area that was completely overgrown. There are still some remaining stumps and the trees that are trying to persist from them, but all in all it is doing well. Nothing has returned or forced its way through. I did cover with a think layer of mulch. Hopefully it keeps. Seems to be okay so far.

Tina said...

Thank you for stopping by and your encouraging comments, Simple Living! I am looking forward to consistently adding fresh content. Look forward to seeing you back...hopping over to your blog now. :)

Tina said...

Thank you, Lisa! I will definitely be sharing pictures of the rocks as well as how the garden fares. Here's to continued success!!!

Tina said...

Thank you, Contemporary Furniture blogger!

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