Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Whole Fence Thing In Progress . . .

Another Sunday working on the vegetable garden. .  .
We finished digging out all the soil we planned (or, frankly, could physically take out. There comes a point where you just go, "I'm done with this," right)? We were able to get the fence up, in preliminary fashion. It's not all fastened yet; but at least we get a visual. I can tell you it's TALL.

A few changes to the original plan - we decided to go with pavers as a mowing edge around the fence. We're three-quarters of the way done with them. They aren't perfect, they're a little wonky, but HEY, we did them ourselves. I'm pretty sure Martha Stewart isn't out there laying pavers anymore.

We're still trying to figure out how to do a gate. I'm tentatively planning on building one myself (unless of course, I have another "I'm done with this" day and decide to go and find a ready-made one. I'm fighting the urge).

The other change is a big one. We're going to use mulch instead of stone for the interior paths. First off, stone is pretty darn expensive. And labor-intensive. And heavy (see the "I'm done" part above). Plus, I've been reading comments on the internets from people who totally regretted putting in stone, as once you commit to it, there is basically never the possibility of getting rid of it should you change your mind down the road (as in, hmm, I don't think I'm done here after all). Plus, they complain that the weeds still make there way into the paths, and they are even more difficult to pull. And while the pavers help with keeping the stone from migrating into the surrounding lawn, I happen to have a freakishly strong gravitational pull to my head, which seems to attract basketballs, baseballs and stray stones flying up while I mow the lawn. So you see, I just can't take the chance of putting an eye out. SO, mulch it is!!!!

Then there was the debate over landscape fabric. The consensus is that it doesn't really prevent weeds from popping up, either. And it's not an approved material for an organic gardener; it's made from petroleum and can possibly leach into the soil when it breaks down after many years. So, I shall say no thank you to landscape fabric.

I did learn that newspaper is a certified-organic material to place as a weed barrier as or under mulch (only the black and white pages though - no glossy color ads, magazine pages or that god-awful USA Today color rag), so that's what I think I'll do. You do have to replace it yearly, along with replenishing some of the mulch which, as an organic material, will break down too. So that digital edition of the NYT you're reading will do you no good in the garden. Please support your local newspaper, if just for the composting:-)

So next weekend is the home stretch - a couple more posts to go up, set the rest of the pavers, a gate, and the mulch. THEN it will be time for the vegetables (I almost forgot about them)! How embarrassing. Stay tuned . . .