Grit Blogs > Adventures of Old Nebraska Dave

Garden multching continues and family time

A photo of Nebraska DaveThe mulching of Terra Nova Gardens continues.  The hay has covered a large portion of the garden but more mulch is needed.  I have two more good loads of hay and maybe a partial load of cleanup and the bales will be completely moved to the garden.  During my breaks at Terra Nova Gardens, I've been thinking about how to build the deck over the pond when it's finished.  First it was cement block supported planks, then floor joist supported deck, then .... bridge support timbers for the deck support.

Bridge support timbers 

A scan through the "Craig's List free" netted these timbers for supports.  However, one has major rotting in the middle of the timber and can't be used.  Another solution for the second timber support will have to be acquired.  I suspect rail road ties will be used for the other side of the deck with at least one floor joist like support in the middle of the deck.

The major part of this week other than mulching was spent in pulling weeds by the road.  It's been a busy summer with weed control.

 Yard waste mulch 

The fall yard cleanup in my neighborhood began this week.  The leaves are beginning to fall off the trees so the yard waste from the yards are a great blend of grass (green) and leaf (brown) mixture for mulching in gardens.  So for the next few weeks the task will be to haul as much of this yard cleanup mixture to Terra Nova Gardens as can be accomplished.  Today marked the beginning of time and the first load was picked up, hauled, and dumped at the garden.  I can just see the gasping going on out there as everyone knows about all the chemicals that are dumped on the lawns in Urban town U.S.A.  My thoughts about that are that in the fall there are no bug pesticides, no grub killing, or any type of weed killing chemicals being applied nor have they been applied for a few weeks.  Maybe a little fertilizer for the lawn but it's mostly winterizer which is stronger in phosphorous and potassium.  I most likely will never be a certified organic grower but I like to use as little chemicals as possible even if the bugs and critters win some times.  Now weeds, that's another story.  I'm an all out warrior against weeds.  I've had to use chemicals to bring the weeds under control this year but next year not so much.  That's what all the mulching it about.  The fenced in garden will not get the yard waste mulch but some other type of compost.  I'm not sure what just yet but it will be more chemical free.  So life goes on in the garden.

Another watermelon was harvested this last week with three more growing.  One more pumpkin has popped up and is totally green but the size of a soccer ball.  Hopefully, they will mature before the killing frost arrives which is around the 15th of October.  It has dipped into the 30s a couple times and flirted with the deadly 32 degree mark but the plants are still surviving.  It will be interesting to see just how protected my garden is from the frost.  Because of the high bank on the west side it may escape the first couple frosts.  This year really has been a learning year.  Next year will be the true test of gardening.  Only green tomatoes remain with no sign of anything ripening.  I've heard that if you wrap the green tomatoes in newspapers and set them in a dark place they will eventually ripen.  I am planning on picking a dozen or so tomatoes and wrapping them in newspaper to see if that actually works.  It's an experiment to see if that's a plausible thing for extending the tomato season.Before Pond 

My last post shows the progress of the pond.  Here is a picture of what it looked like before any work began.  It was lovingly labeled Terra Nova's mud pit.  As you can see many things had been deposited in the muddy mire of the now in progress pond.  I found bricks, concrete chunks, cable remnants, stones, and many other discoveries. It's truly amazing the amount of water that has fllled up the pit that's been dug out so far.  It will be a real asset when completed.  Most of the work for this project will be accomplished next year.  If the pond gets dug out more this fall, it will be great.Bradley at the zoo 
A day off from school for what ever reason provided some grandpa time with my grandson Bradley at the zoo.  It's one of his favorite places to go.  Here he's having some bonding time with a pygmy goat.  Sometimes a good break from the garden chores and spending some time with the family will rejuvenate the mind and body.  We spent most of our time in the Kingdom of the night area of the zoo.  It's a dark swampy place with alligators, beavers, toads, frogs, and other things of the night.  It's fascinating to me to see how boys are always drawn to the creepy things such as spiders, snakes, and lizards.  Sheesh, snakes, I don't like snakes.  I know they are good for the garden and I have a few at Terra Nova Gardens but they are just too sneaky for me.stalactite cave  
Here's Bradley checking out a stalactite cave in the Kingdoms of the night.  This is smelly part of the zoo as there are many bat colonies behind fenced in areas.  Bats are another thing boys are fascinated with.  Isn't it great to be a kid.  We should all have that same curiosity, don't you think?

Have a great week and let me know how things are in your part of the world.

nebraska dave
10/8/2012 1:03:37 AM

Allan, I am indeed in the major mulching mode. As much as I can get will go on the garden this year. Next year maybe a lighter layer but eventually it will be composting in place. If you read much about gardening, famous lady called Ruth Stout pops up. She was big in the organic gardening circles about 30 or 40 years ago. She wrote a book called "No-Work Garden Book". This mulching idea came from reading that book. She was huge on mulching and no tilling. She would actually leave the corn stalks from one year for the pole beans to climb the next year. Her methods allowed her to garden well past 80 years old. She's been gone for many many years but her wisdom lives on at Terra Nova Gardens. Have a great day in the garden with the chipper.


allan douglas
10/7/2012 8:41:10 PM

Sounds like you're in major mulching mode, Dave. I had not thought about the chemicals people use, but I suppose you're right: people probably don't dump much harmful stuff on their lawns in the fall. I'm with you on the snakes avoidance. This summer I had several run-ins with snakes, only one was harmful: a Copperhead, the others were Black Snakes and a small Grey Rat Snake I found in the compost pile while I was turning it. There were a bunch of hatched eggs in there, I guess it's siblings moved on, but that one stayed behind. I encouraged it's relocation.


nebraska dave
10/2/2012 3:10:53 AM

Mary, thanks for the information. Maybe I'll just have to wrap more than a dozen or so. It would be nice to be able pull out some fresh tomatoes around the Holiday dinner table.


mary carton
10/1/2012 10:48:25 PM

Dave wrapping green tomatoes in newspaper and putting them in a dark place does work. You have to unwrap and check them once a week and check to see if they are starting to ripen. We've had tomatoes all the way until late January when we were growing up. I've been pulling grass and mulching trying to get ahead for next year. I didn't get to mulch last fall because of my knee surgery. So hopefully next year will be more weed and grass free.