Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cardboard and Hayday

 So the last I shared here; I was feeling a tad overwhelmed by weeds. 
I knew come rain or shine I'd just have to bite the bullet and start chippin away at it.  
I put on my grubbiest clothes... threw this gray hair back in a ponytail; 
pulled a hat over my head and rolled up the sleeves.  
Weeding in the rows went very well.  It's always easier to weed wet.  
That should be slapped  on a sign somewhere.  
Weed wet! 

 After pullin weeds,
I hoed around the plants.
Talk about sweet satisfaction .  
 A day or two after that; it was time to fire up the old tiller.  
I think I listened to 1, and 2 Thessalonians at least three times.
That's some good tillin n weedin.  

The past few years I've bought bundles of olde newspapers to lay all across the garden then mulched with straw.  It works pretty well and the soil is improving greatly!  The best part is less weeds to pull.  -- Having our own mechanics shop we get tons of cardboard  boxes.  They get stored  in our livestock trailer until we can do something with them and I've just kept thinking about em.  One of my friends told me she's  used cardboard for mulch at times so I thought I'd give it a try.  My biggest worry though; is snakes.  I kept thinking about all the pockets in the cardboard that don't lay down very well being a good place for snakes.  (ugh)  --But the thing is... I have to watch for snakes anyways?... so before using the boxes;  I googled it.  The pros far outweighed the cons... so off to the stock trailer I went.  

 I brought up  two truckloads.  
That's a lot of boxes.  
 One of my dear Uncles sent me this awesome knife this Spring.  
I cannot tell you how well it worked for me.  
I love this knife!!
Then I started laying out the cardboard... 
and ... also dug up a whole pickup load of old hay off the ground from round bales  that our horse n donkeys wasted.  I put that all around all the plants. Tomatoes, cucumbers, flowers,... etc. 
 Once I got to this point .. let me tell ya... I started having major second thoughts.  
Oh good grief what have I done?  
It just looked sooooo  bad.  There were places that the cardboard didn't lay down very well and 
oh man.  I really had my doubts, but ... just kept going... and I'm  so glad I did.  
 --Adding straw on top is 
always where the magic happens. 
The more I walked on it the better it got and 
after it rains a couple times I can tell it will work just fine.
-- I did pen all the chickens up so they can't raise havoc and 
I'm hoping the cardboard will make it  harder for the armadillos to tear up too.  
Never fails once it gets hot n dry ... armadillos  find the garden and start rootin like little pigs.   

The bunnies and I have also been goin round and round.  
They've had   a real sweet tooth for potted  petunias and these trellised pole beans.
The beans are replanted and  new sprouts are coming up. 
Can't wait til pretty green  beans are covering them.  

 Feels sooo good to have gotten the hard parts done this week.  

 The temperature has been cool here;  
but our days  will heat up before we know it.  
From what I've been told; Myguy's Grampa used to record the weather every day in a ledger.  
As much as I love to journal; I tend to forget the temperature.  

  I try to record garden snippets in this traveler's notebook.  
 It helps to look back and see what worked and what didn't.  
Could be; using up all these cardboard boxes might be something to look forward to again next season?  
Time will tell.
xoxo Leaon Mary


Anonymous said...

Phew!!!!! Lea I am exhausted for you just reading about all your work....well done girl!!. You definitely need a cup of tea and a scone after all that mulching. I am thankful that you have taken time to share your gardening gifts and pictures. I love the picture of Gracie and a little donkey face with the roses growing at the sweet.

The weather here is crazy...some days warm and next it's cold and then the temperature drops at night and the plants don't know what's going on. The cherry blossom was beautiful and now gone.

I loved my visit to the shed.

God Bless and Keep You

Terra Hangen said...

Your idea of using cardboard as mulch and covering it with hay is great and even looks attractive. Your pinto horse is such a beauty, I must tell you.

Fran. said...

Thanks for sharing your garden day!! I have been battling a chipmunk!! well it's probably more than one!! They make me so darn mad when they eat my lilies when they are just coming up!! I truly love my lilies!!! Way to go on the recycling but I am wondering what you will do when you pull up the card board? Where will you get rid of that? Your farm is so jazzy I LOVE everything about it!!! XOXO Love ya Fran.

Candy Chilcoat said...

Thanks for sharing, great idea on the cardboard!
Blessings, Candy

Leaon Mary said...

Thank you Jean... I wish I could try one of your scones!
Terra... thank you for visiting!
Frannie... I enjoyed your photos on facebook this week- and sorry the chipmunks have a taste for your flowers. It's crazy how fast rabbits and chipmunks, etc can mow down plants! You asked about what to do with the cardboard after wards? Well... I'll have to let you know how it goes but... in the past when I've used newspapers, I used several thicknesses so the weeds wouldn't go right through it and am amazed how quickly it breaks down by the next season. This I will probably leave on the garden til early next spring. Then I'll rake off the top straw and whatever cardboard is left I'm going to put on a compost heap to continue making the good black stuff. Going to make an area behind my garden to keep it in out of concrete blocks. Might get that part done today... well yall thanks for visiting the potting shed. Thank you as well Candy... nice to meet you! Lea

Deborah Nolan said...

Dear Leaon Mary saw your comment on Debra' s blog- we both ate going to miss her. Stopped over to visit you. Love your blog. I have used newspapers and cardboard very successfully in my garden. Yours looks so lovely with the straw over top. Enjoyed several of your posts. Will be back to visit you soon. Have a blessed day.

Debra said...

Oh dear Leaon-where do I begin? You've been with me blogging for 8 years-been my pal. We've cried and laughed together. I will still visit you, and still have my art blog open....I think I just ran out of things to say at Sparrowgrass, and I could tell it was time to quit. I was reading older posts yesterday and saw that they were so much sweeter than they have become in the last few years. So I need to stop, and just see what God has for me.
I love you dear, and have always been blessed by your blog.