Fall garden clean-up

Despite me being out of things this week, the kids got a lot of yard work topped off!  It will be nice to go into the holidays having most of the signs of summer yard projects cleared away.

The 12,000 pound mountain of excavated dirt has finally all been moved – this is a major accomplishment!  Just today dd13 was talking to the daughter of one of you in a different city who mentioned seeing a picture of our yard (Google maps?) and commented on the huge pile of dirt.  Yes, that was our yard. :)  Once the dirt was moved, the fourth new raised garden box was put into place and filled.  Ds dumped the grass clippings from the three yards he mowed this week into these beds to boost the soil – grass clippings are high quality soil enhancers.  Since the grass that would have lined the paths was killed when the dirt was on top of it, the kids spread a thick layer of the wood chips we got for free last week around the beds.  It looks nice and neat now.

My plan is to build up the soil for the coming season by starting now and let the beds ‘cook’ over the next few months.  Soil strength/quality in large part determines the size of your crop, the nutritional value, and resistance to disease, and once I’m taking the time to garden, I want to get the most value out of it that I can.

As I write ds8 and ds10 are pulling up the summer garden plants in the lasagna beds. When they’re done, the last load of dirt will be spread on top, and then the rest of the wood chips will cover all of it.  The dirt and wood chips provide a lot of biological ‘brown’ and will need to be balanced with ‘greens’ to eficiently break down. I’ll be adding the usual kitchen vegetable/fruit scraps and whatever grass clippings and leaves I can get before winter.  I have about 3 – 4 gallons of ashes from our campfire that we’ll sprinkle over all the raised beds and the lasagna beds.  Then I’ll let the sun and rain and time do the rest of the work. :)

One thing that will remain of the garden will be some of its fruits – several of our simanim (symbolically eaten foods) for the Rosh Hashana dinners were freshly picked today and are being roasted together – butternut squash, leeks, and beets.  And the apples weren’t  ones we grew, but we did pick them yesterday afternoon.


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