Once upon a time, we had an unkempt area on the sunniest side of the house. At one point the crab grass had a real crop going. We buried it in newspapers and wood mulch.
Last year I jumped into straw bale gardening, a genuine disaster, except for the slugs. If they become a commercial crop, I will start driving a Tesla and wintering in Sedona.
|Norma Boeckler's Robin:|
he never leaves the watered, earthwormed, and mulched rose garden.
The good side of this disaster comes from laying down lots of organic material. The straw bales rotted into the soil with those rasping slugs entombed with strawy groan, unknelled, uncoffined, and yet not exactly unknown. They were crawling on the wall at night and covering the vegetation. Slugs are essential creatures in the decomposition of organic matter, but they are all too willing to destroy new, tender plants.
The slug fantasia came from the un-natural state of keeping straw bales damp to start them composting.
Today our helper came over with his two children to put up a little picket fence from Lowe's and cover the sunny garden with cardboard and mulch. The father parcels out some of the jobs as we work on the task, and we have a great time.
The mulch job was simple. No weeds were growing. The roses were already around the maple tree. Some raspberry canes were coming up from last year, so we worked around them. We laid out the cardboard boxes flat and covered them with shredded wood mulch.
Last year's plants will form more compost and the area will stay relatively open for the new tomato plants. Tomatoes love hot areas and plenty of sun, so that will be ideal for them. Water comes from the soaker hose on the fence and more water from the front faucet.
Mulch holds in water, prevents wind evaporation, and keeps the constant microbe to earthworm cycle going to feed to the plant roots.
I am going to plant some mature tomatoes for an early start and experiment with various types.