Adding the back yard mulch. Mom picked up the big water tank

I got two of the garden bed pathways weeded and added a very deep layer of mulch all the way to the fence line.  I used a D shape weed hoe and it worked much better than a regular hoe to dig out the weeds.  I had a to level the ground between the fence and the garden beds as that is one of Tucker the Peke digging areas.  The mulch layer is almost six inches deep now and I hope that a deeper layer of mulch will help keep down the weeds.

It has been a couple of years since I put down the mulch between the new garden beds.  I was amazed to see how good the soil looked in the areas where the mulch had broken down.  The soil is almost black and much easier to work with the weed hoe between the garden beds.  Around the recovering Cherry tree the soil is not so good but I’m adding a bit of the steer manure compost and a thick layer of mulch to start building that soil up.  Right now the only “plant” I want to feed in that area’s soil is the cherry tree.  I have all the other plants in potato buckets or herbs in containers.  It looks like the cherry tree trunk/upper root  area is a little exposed so I will add the compost very close to the tree trunk but I will keep the mulch set back a few inches so the tree can breathe and not develop any issues from having the mulch to close to the trunk.

A few days ago I added straw to all of the berry planters.  I suspected the squirrels would go for the strawberry plants but one of the blackberry planters had the straw pushed aside and a hole dug in the planter.  I gave the the straw a spritz of the home made pepper spray and will give you an update in a few days about if it worked discouraging the squirrels digging in the berry planters.

I’m still working on the garden beds.  The pvc pipes cracked rather than bent into arches but the Harbor Freight heat gun makes the pvc pipes bend without cracking under the stress of installing the pipes in the garden beds.  I might be able to use a couple of the cracked pvc pipes by heating the area and bending the pipe into place using the heat gun to “soften” the plastic to make the pipe less rigid.  I have a layout of the drip irrigation system and a few more parts to buy to finish up the long garden beds. The new irrigation system should just water the garden beds and not the mulched pathways.  That should help keep down the weeds in the mulched areas.

I’m trying to get in the habit of weeding a little bit everyday rather than weeding a long time every week/two weeks. This is a major fault of mine in tending a garden. I’ll work very hard and a long time (for me) then spend time in recovery.  I need to learn how to “Putter Daily” in the garden rather than work very hard and then have to take a day or two to recover my stamina.  Gardens are a year round project.  While there are days you have to build and do heavy physical work, most of gardening is doing some work everyday to maintain/improve the garden.

Great news, Mom and I loaded the big 250 gallon water tank into her truck.  Mom is getting a water pump to irrigate her back pasture but the water tank will allow her to start storing water for irrigation between times the irrigation water is not available.  I know 250 gallons is not a lot of water storage but that tank is a start for Mom’s irrigation system for her pasture/garden area.  Plus the tank is already paid for, so no out of pocket costs for Mom.  As for Mom getting the tank off the truck and installed she has some great neighbor’s that have offered to help her around her place.  These water tanks are as common as mud around here so getting hoses and fitting to irrigate is easy with a bit of work planning her water system.

Mom picked up many of her pots full of herbs to take to her place.  While she is trying to start a garden area this year the local soil needs a lot of work.  Pots/ Container gardening are going to be the primary part of her garden this year.  There is nothing wrong with container gardening.  A raised bed is simply a large container garden. It is dumb to try and grow a garden in poor soil.  You are better off doing a container garden with good soil rather make a garden that has poor soil.  Trust me I know that the little skiff of top soil dropped in my area is not good nor deep. Now I have earthworm every where when a decade ago I had literally no insects in my soil. Building good soil takes time.  You  can still grow a garden or lawn as you improve the soil.

You don’t have to follow anyone’s advice.  Not mine nor anyone else.  Follow your own voice and take other people’s advice, simply as advice.  You have nothing else you must do in this world but die.  Everything else is your choice, and not paying taxes is a choice.  Perhaps a less than optimal choice but a choice none the less.


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