22 May 2021
I gave the border outside of garden fence another quick till, and retilled a couple of meters in the garden since the soil was so packed down. I need the first four inches to put on top of the straw, hoping to make it easier to scrape that up.
Planted sunflowers around the border, cast a variety of wildflower seeds on the east side. Some mixed wildflower and poppy seeds on the south, ran out before I could do the west side.
I managed to get half of the first walking row mulched with three two cubic foot bags of wood chips. I need to get some delivered, it just is not going to work buying it by the bag, not to mention the waste of all of the plastic in the bags.
I picked up more wildflower seeds at Menard’s on Thursday and scattered those on the west side. They are all "cut" flower varieties. I need to overbuy next year.
Put another raised row in tonight. The soil was still damp so trying not to step on the areas that I wanted to work tonight. I put a two inch deep by six inch wide trench in the eighteen inch raised row, I added an extra inch or so of straw to compensate.
The soil was difficult to work with the moisture. I found that breaking it up with a turning fork helped. Around three quarters of the way through I found that the turning fork could be used to move the soil too. Ran out of light after one row.
Put another row in the garden. I am not using as much straw as I had planned for each row. Decided to start adding more to each row, it will decay and sink during the season. I probably only need a couple of bales to cover the rows once everything is growing.
Took the tiller back up to garden. The soil is pretty compacted again which makes covering the straw difficult. I can only do a row every 120 minutes, and I hurt afterwards. I also marked the rest of the planting and walking rows. I will have ten planting rows when this is complete. Now I know how much mulch I need.
Nate helped me add three more raised rows. We did three in just a little over two hours, splitting the work really helps. He prepared the planting row while I placed straw. We worked from opposite ends of the row to cover the straw with soil. Even though he works a bit slower it really made a difference.
Nate and I finished adding the final three rows. The topsoil for row ten had came from the walkway that has been used for the past ten years. I had to break that up by hand with the mattock adze. We have four bales of leftover straw to light mulch the raised beds once the seedlings have a good start.
A very long day adding mulch to the garden. It was delivered this morning and we spent the rest of the day moving it to the garden. We all got plenty of sunshine, and only have about seven yards of mulch to move tomorrow. I hope to have some energy left to plant the starters tomorrow night.