Monday, May 17, 2010

Putting in the Garden and a Question for You

You can see Troy's new fruit and nut trees are leafing already (left). They seem to be doing well, by why wouldn't they with the mix of rain and nice weather we've been having?
The orchard's also doing well. Here you've got the apple trees marked with red; the peach trees marked with yellow; Tom's peach trees (in the back) with orange; and my crab apple and redbud trees marked with white. I put them in the year before Troy got all the fruit trees so he just worked around them.

Look what else is doing well:
Yes, we're getting strawberries! They're coming in nicely.

And this brings me to my question. Troy is getting tired of weeding the grass out of the strawberry bed, and I'm certainly not keen on it either. We didn't have any edging to keep it out and Troy thought about putting in a frame made of two-by-fours.

We've done this before and it works, but the wood needs a lot of structure to keep it straight. It has same problem of all edging that it either works its way too high or too low after a year or two.

So he thought of going lower tech: cardboard
What do you think? Is this Redneck (with a capital R), or smart ecological use of resources?

We figure: 1. Cardboard won't hurt the lawnmower. 2. It'll compost and actually improve the soil in time. 3. Any edging needs redoing after 2-3 years so it's not any more work (and might be less because of the ease of installation). 4. Cardboard is free and readily available.

You can tell we're leaning toward favouring the cardboard. But sometimes I worry that our "Redneck meter" isn't very reliable. So help us out and leave a comment if you think we need an intervention.

In other garden news, Troy had his seedlings hardening off on Sunday, getting them ready to put in the ground (probably on Tuesday):
This includes deCicco broccoli, Brunswick cabbage, Boston pickling cucumbers, ancho poblano hot peppers, Moskovich Russian tomatoes and desert king watermelon. (The irises are looking nice too, aren't they?)

He's also been planting seeds directly into the garden:
This includes Detroit dark red beets, cosmic purple carrots (I'm really excited about those), Reid's yellow dent corn, delicatesse blue kohlrabi (what the heck? blue?), and Oregon sugar pod peas. Sunday he was working on the last seeds: scarlet runner beans, Romano Italian flat pole beans, and aquadoulce fava beans.

If there's any room left, he'll plant some of the great northern white beans we've been eating lately to fill in the empty space as a green manure.

Troy has read that 30 per cent of American bee hives were "lost" again this past winter. This can only push food prices up, so by producing our own we hope to protect ourselves from the cost increase. Plus, removing our demand from the supply will help your prices stay lower. You can thank us later. ;-)

Here's a poll for the Redneck question in case leaving a comment is too much work:

Go ahead and's anonymous!

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