Spring is here and the deep mulch back to Eden Garden has officially been planted!
I spent the beautiful weekend finishing up instead of playing, but it had to be done!
Now that is not to say I am done. Lord knows that I am not even close to finished on the things that I need to accomplish, but I have at least planted the main crops both in the front and the back yards.
I do have a side section of the yard where I plan to train vines up the south side of the wall in order to shade it from the suns harsh rays. This should in theory, create a sort of barrier to prevent the wall from absorbing heat during the day which will ultimately radiate into the home and make it too hot to bear during the summer months. I’ve spent some time studying passive solar design and since I am unable to build my own home from scratch, I have been trying to identify a way to implement many of the principles I’ve learned to an already existing structure.
One of the ways to offset the heat of summer is to plant deciduous trees on the south side of a home so that in the winter the leaves fall away and allow the sun to heat the south wall which results in thermal mass gain subsequently heating the interior of the home passively. In the summer months, the leaves fill in and create a natural shade for that wall preventing it from absorbing the latent heat, and keeping the interior cool. This is what I would love to emulate but it is going to take a little more planning since I will need to build a planter box to separate the soil from sitting against the wall itself, being made of stucco which I don’t want to compromise.
I also need to rebuild and move the compost heap, but probably can’t happen until I am able to move the pile of mulch from the back since I want it out of the way.
I ended up double digging rows into the existing mulch as I mentioned in a pervious post to offset the fact that my Back to Eden Garden isn’t ready or near the decomposition stage required to have the intended effects, but instead of boring you with the details, I’ve simply posted the photos below so you can actually see the amount of work that has gone into this.
I plan to re-mulch between the isles of the rows once the plants have established themselves which at this point is merely a waiting game. I’ll post pictures of the cold frame contents once the weather improves because in Denver we have had the most horrible stinging wind.
I’ll keep you update, in the meanwhile see below.
The bed above was harder to work because I didn’t put the cardboard down prior to laying the mulch, and the layer was not a substantial depth, just enough to provide ground groundcover.
You can see the disparity between soil and the mulch above, the color and the moisture content is great, tons of worms as I mentioned before were present throughout meaning that there is plenty of microbial activity too.
These beds are strategically placed beneath the clothes line so that I will be able to train the cucumbers, winter squash and legumes up in the fashion of a vertical garden. Fingers crossed, it should be most entertaining.
I decided to leave this section of the yard alone and not create beds as I’m curious to see how effective it is, the middle is also planted with a cornucopia. My plan this year was to empty my inventory of seeds so that I can purchase seeds more selectively for next season as I intend to save seeds and won’t be planting just anything.
In this section I created a border along the path for some Chinese cabbage.
This outlines the process I took with every row- double digging, dusting the mulch soil mix with Azomite rock dust to ensure the roots of the plants will have access to minerals and nutrients which are temporarily locked up through the decomposition process but will be released as the carbon rich matter breaks down.
Below are some brassica plants, either they are cabbage or Lacino Kale, I can’t remember. I’ll let you know when I find out.