|After 10 minutes of clean-up|
My 2011 garden was not amazing. It won another "most beautiful garden" competition, which was awesome, but last year's drought and stinkbugs sure made it tough, and several important plants didn't meet basic expectations. Hank was about 22 months old at summer's peak and he didn't make it any easier. As I planted winter cover crops last September, I figured, "Next year will be easier."
The rabbits and rats ate my fall/winter cover crop (a mix of field peas and oats), and when I replanted the cover crop, the critters ate the seeds and seedlings again. It was so bad that I didn't bother with a full planting of winter/spring greens. In December, Hank and I spread a layer of straw over the garden to try to help protect it from spring weeds. I visited again in February, and everything seemed okay.
Our community garden changed the gate's padlock on March 1st, and it took me almost 6 weeks to get a new key from the garden coordinator. I finally got out to the garden last weekend. What a mess.
|After one hour of cleanup|
- add in small scale drip irrigation, gravity fed. Never seen this in action, but finally found directions online for building a system.
- repeating several of 2011's successful crops
- planting heavy summer cover crops - in case Hank's schedule prevents me from spending big chunks of time in the garden.
Finally, my garden helper showed up. He is undocumented and works for cheap.
After another hour of work, the garden started to look like a garden again:
Here's last year's garden (below), and I hope we can do even better this year. Seems nearly impossible at this moment, but given a little more rain and some good plants, maybe it'll turn a corner.