For the second morning in a row, early temperatures in the mid-30′s Fahrenheit put a bit of a damper on morning yard work. I’ve taken a couple of days off to get the front yard in order. I’m peeling out all the old mulch, weeding everything, edging around the trees, and re-seating border bricks around the beds. What I didn’t count on yesterday was finding that a couple of the beds needed a deep turning.
When I uncovered the bed you see above, the soil seemed a bit lifeless and compacted, in keeping with the tepid growth of the few tulips that survived there. Normally I plant hardy annuals there, but they haven’t done so well, of late. This time, I remembered why: I haven’t turned that bed (nor the one behind it, up against the fence) since we moved into the house, nigh unto a decade ago.
Side note: We’re really short on spring rain this year – there hasn’t been but perhaps a quarter of an inch in the last 6 weeks or so.
Silly me, I attacked the ground with a spade point shovel. That bought me about three inches of penetration. I tottered back into the shed, and brought out the pickaxe. That did the job. I trenched out to 12-15 inches (in both beds, tree and fence), hauling the dirt back onto the concrete pad behind the fence. There I broke it up and mixed it with equal parts leaf compost. Then I barrowed the mix back out and filled the beds. The first partial load has just been tipped in, above. When all was said and done, five barrow loads went back into the bed.
The bed work slowed me considerably, though. I didn’t finish with the de-mulching and weeding yesterday, but I did all seven of the smaller beds/trees. What’s left are the two large beds around the front porch. I do know I’ve amended those quite recently, so no more pickaxe work today. I’m just waiting for the temps to rise into the 50′s so that I can get back to work. Ciao!