|We recycle cardboard, newsprint, and a dead tree to make|
harbors for toads, insects, worms, birds, and flowers.
Honeysuckle vine is already climbing this stump.
Mr. Gardener cast a gimlet eye over the fence at our helper laying down cardboard near the dead tree stump. "Do you have a plan? Or are you making it up as you go along?"
Our helper grinned and said, "We are making it up as we go along."
Last night I got an IM from our helper, "I got more cardboard down. Lots more." He was right. We are close to half-done with the cardboard carpet.
One of the Kindle books I bought was about mulching, and that gave me ideas about buckwheat cover crops and cardboard for mulching. Newspapers are a good layer for smaller areas, but it gets tedious to spread them out for a project like ours. Secondly, breezes great and small mess up the papers before wood mulch goes on top.
We are just starting to get autumn leaves now. They will provide a layer on the cardboard in the Wild Garden, but I expect shredded cyprus will be on top of everything in the spring.
The idea is to kill off the lawn grass, turning it into compost, and provide a base for toads and beneficial insects for next spring. Bugs good and bad will overwinter in a wild area, but the beneficials will eat the pests in the spring and raise future generations there, where the livin' is easy.
The Wild Garden starts with the Jackson Bird Paradise on the edge of the rustic fence. Behind the rustic fence is the proposed Wild Garden, which includes the back fence area I am trying to screen with blackberries, giant Butterfly Bushes, and vining plants.
|Honeysuckle loves to bloom and attract God's creatures.|
Honeysuckle vine can be quite a sprawler, so I am creating an area where it can sprawl and flower and attract birds, bees, and hummingbirds. It started to climb the dead tree stump this summer and should have a great year in 2016.
I will plant the largest sunflowers too, for many reasons, including
- Screening the back alley
- Pollen for the bees
- Bird and squirrel food
- Extra Floral Nectar - loved by beneficial insects
- Overall, the aircraft carriers of Creation, a world by themselves
I gave up on vegetables. I do not have enough sunlight overall, except in the sunny garden where tomatoes will be the stars.
There are many fun, easy growing plants that the beneficial insects enjoy - bee balm, borage, various berry plants, Feverfew, and so forth.
I will use our overflow of roses to create another circle around the maple tree in front. The number of roses should stabilize around 60 - 70 bushes.
|The maple tree area was an eyesore.|
Now roses and bulbs are growing to make it
a colorful addition to the front yard.
These are $5 roses, striving to become established.
Every growing area has its own environment that is perfect for a set of plants. I talked to one reader about acid soil for the blueberries. I added pine needles and he told me about using sulfur to increase the acid for more berry production.
We can definitely tilt the environment to favor certain kinds of growth, but the principles are still inherent in Creation.
Some basics are:
- Amount of nitrogen in the soil
- Acid versus sweet soil
- Soil types - sandy, clay, prairie topsoil (20 feet deep), rocky
- Temperatures, first and last frosts
Some plants demand shade. Others need poor soil to do well. Cucumbers favor shade, and sunflowers are solar hogs.
I like taproot weeds because they mine minerals from below and shed leaf debris on top for mulch. The herb known as a weed, dandelion, is very good in this regard, pumping calcium up to the top. Plants and soil creatures tune the soil for even better production while man-made devices work poorly in trying to do the same thing.