Sunday, June 21

Summer Gardens

Summer Gardens

It's wonderful to feel good anytime but to feel good when it's time to work in the garden is a blessing. I feel blessed when my body is working and I can do a full days work that includes collecting and spreading grass clippings and chipped leaves on the soil in my gardens.

As soon as my neighbors begin cutting grass I take the clippings and spead them in a thin layer over the exposed soil in the gardens. They dry quickly and become the organic matter that is needed to enrich and loosen soil.

At the same time I collect leaves left behind from last fall. They tend to settle in and around shrubs and trees in the front garden. As I take them out I either use my Vac n' Shred to collect and chop them into mulch or I take them to the driveway and run over them with the lawn mower. I empty them onto the grass clippings in a two to three inch layer that looks better to me than bought mulch.

It's been four years since I began to lasagna garden the different spaces surrounding our home here in Tennessee. I began with thick layers of newspapers on top of the ground. I didn't remove any weeds or grass just wet paper and layers of peatmoss, chopped leaves and grass clippings. Even though I have done this many times before I continue to be amazed at the results of the lasagna-like process. My soil is loose and rich and grows whatever I plant without digging or tilling and few weeds.

Except for new garden spaces I don't have to water every day. Instead I have begun to install soaker hoses. We installed an above the ground water spigot and added a four hose adapter. This allows for four connector hoses going in four directions and can be controlled individually. The soaker hoses wind in and out of the gardens taking care of the water needs of plants that have struggled to survive. The hoses distribute the water directly to the plants and waste very little.

After the spring bulbs and early blooming perennials were finished I could see where I needed to plug in more plants with lots of color. This year I wanted late fall color to grow taller than the chrysanthemums that came back from last fall. I planted drifts of mixed cosmos and cleome behind the yellow mums. This color combo is not for the person who wants a clean, dependable color scheme but for me it is just right.

Happy Gardening!

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