Saturday, April 16, 2016

Thorn Bushes, Raised Beds & Spring Cleaning

Ah, spring is in the air (finally!) and we couldn't wait to get outside today and tackle some projects in the yard (aka "the homestead").

Though I didn't get a picture of it, my first mission was tearing up a terrible thorny bush that started growing under the back deck and in the pine trees at the edge of the property. It winds itself into the pine tree branches and starts to pull them down. The clump under the deck was shooting up through the boards and the lattice that surrounds the outside.What a pain ~ literally ~ of a job it was!

After wrestling with these for quite a long time, I raked some leaves and turned over dirt in the garden beds. Meanwhile the Mister worked on this:

Any guesses as to what he's building?

If you guessed, "raised bed," you're right. :) This is one that we will plant strawberries in. He also built a longer, narrower bed for the raspberry bushes we'll be getting. Before that though, I have to get soil for both beds. Yesterday I picked up all the lumber at a recycle building supply store. I got five longish boards as seen above for under $25!

Why Raised Beds?

I've gardened as long as I've been a homeowner ... so about 15 years now. If you haven't switched to raised beds yet, I highly recommend them. They are so much easier than fighting weeds in a traditional garden. Because you aren't disturbing the soil by walking on it, the weeds get much less oxygen and because of that, don't grow (much). The soil in raised beds also warms more quickly, allowing you to plant your seeds earlier than in a traditional garden.

We have three already and with these shiny, new beauties are up to five. I'd like one or two more next year--one for cut flowers and another for more veggies. Maybe one could be turned into a cold frame?

We have other exciting news about an increase in our family's numbers (by six!) but I'll save that for when I have some good pictures to show you.

What spring cleaning/outdoor projects/frugal things are you doing this weekend? 

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