Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Bucket Has a Hole

When I laid out our sheet mulch last fall, I got tired, I got cold, and I cut corners. For example, I did not do the nitrogen layer that would make the decomposition go faster and there are places where I just mulched without a weed-suppressing underlayer. Now, it is time to plant in the garden, and I'm wondering what the results of my compromises will be. Whatever happens, last fall is completely gone and I'm well on my way to learning whether lazy/compromised sheet mulching will work in the garden.

This leads me to look at the ground in the stalled hoophouse. A more experienced person explained to me that we should not plan to plant in it until fall, and I was easy to convince. She also said if we want to plant in it in the fall, we should go ahead and sheet mulch to suppress the grass, because you just don't want grass in a hoophouse. Here comes the circle- I do not want Jason to have to work around the sheet mulching while he's building the hoophouse, so I want to wait until the frame is assembled. I do want a nitrogen layer in there before I put down the sheet mulch; that would be easily accomplished by having chickens "prepare" the ground a bit before I start to layer in other stuff. We can't have chickens until we have a chicken coop. The coop must be assembled, so work on the hoophouse has stalled out, so I cannot put down sheet mulch. It's not really a circle, but it feels just as addled.

And the watering has begun. This morning, it took just over an hour to water all the new plants and we go tomorrow to talk to the nice man about fruit trees. Maybe I'm growing cowardly, but as I was carrying my sixth or seventh 30 pound bucket of water this morning, I wondered if we aren't perhaps a little crazy to add 20 fruit trees to this watering regimen. I did establish yesterday that I can carry 60 pounds of water a quarter mile; however, I decided to find a gentler, slower method of moving water. Today, I hooked three water hoses together so that the blueberries and currants and gooseberries and the gardens can get their water straight from the tap. That only leaves 9 trees and 14 berry bushes to actually carry the water to- oh, and the 20 fruit trees.

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