Saturday, April 04, 2015

Clearing Garden Space

I took yesterday off. One of my tasks (which I have had on the list for a while) is to clear more room for a garden.  This lovely piece of real estate was even kindly bricked in but has just had grass growing in it since we arrived:

Phase I was to use a metal rake to pull out as much of the grass as I could:

 Loaded up in the Wheelbarrow:

Keep pushing to then end of the row:

And done:

Phase II:

In this phase I tore up the ground, trying to get at the roots and rhizomes:

This took a while:

And I still had a lot to dispose of:

Phase III:

In Phase III I worked in manure:

And my first use of compost made at home since we moved:

(Turns out that orange peels and compostable coffee filters don't compost that well)

With that, I used a shovel to turn everything over and in:

The finished product:

I soaked it down afterwards and will do so again tomorrow.

The total time to do this exercise was approximately 3 hours total, with probably 2.5 of actual work.  All in all, not a bad expenditure for the day.  I am amazed, even in this simple exercise, how much effort it takes to clear even this small plot of land.  I only used hand tools - rake, pick, shovel.  In some ways a rototiller would make sense, but the exercise is good for me and frankly, I need the practice.

Bonus Track (Mostly for my friend John):  This is what else I have to work with in the backyard:

The pad was here when we bought it.  Not sure what we will do with it:  Would make a fine place for an open air workshop:

The part along the back fence is my current garden.  I intend to expand it to the edge of the dead tree.

The tree growing behind the dead tree provides a hiding place in the summer for the rabbits when they are out.  Eventually I need to put some kind of quail run in there as well.

The low pots are the garden that Nighean Dhonn and I started.  We will need to redo most of them this year, although the one directly in the picture has some wonderful perennials.

There's a lot of work to do, and with our drouthy conditions,  make it more water friendly (and money friendly) and less time for me trying to mow (a task I despise).  Fortunately I do not have a lot of vacations planned this year, so plenty of time to make things better.


  1. I despise mowing too. It looks good afterwards but takes up sooooo much time.

    I have also noticed some things do not compost as well as they are advertised.

  2. I use a rotary mower too, so it takes more. Beside, we're in a drought, so I'm really being water conscious, right?

    If I was a more curious man, I would run an experiment seeing what could compost and how quickly it would take.


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