Getting the garden ready for next year

Nothing is more motivating, garden speaking, then a visit to the Sonoma Garden Park. It’s been a while since we’ve visited, but I’ve been missing it. And since our attentions are starting to turn outside-wards, I was looking forward to the inspiration. Oh yes, nothing is more humbling and motivating than a visit to a beautiful garden. It wasn’t more than a few hours before we got home and got our hands in the dirt. First up was to attend to this row of berries, to get them up and off the ground. A couple of stakes, some twine, some weeding and a good mulch of compost and we’re ready to be deep in boysenberries next summer!

This above patch was the watermelon patch, which we put our seven year old in charge of. He pulled up all the old watermelon plants, dug up the dirt, smoothed it out and hauled the compost from the front of the house and laid a thick layer on top. He got a very big ice cream cone after that, believe me!

This patch was my patch to tackle last week. We had wanted to lay a good cover crop, but it was overwhelming to know where to begin. We should have planted the fava beans weeks ago, but every time we walked out there, the job just seemed too big to tackle. So I put on a watch, grabbed my gloves and a shovel and just started digging, for 10 minutes. Then I went back inside for a while to work. Then back out to dig. Then back inside to tackle laundry. Then started hauling compost to dig in, for 10 minute segments. Then spread out gypsum to cut the clay soil and fava. Then another thin layer of compost. All in 10 minute segments. Got it done in two days. Of course this is only a tiny segment of what we hope to dig and put in cover crop, but hey, it’s a start! I just realized that my 7 year old works faster than I do…hmmm…guess that’s why I’m still waiting for my ice cream cone!

p.s. We had another jar lid pop this Sunday. Again on a Sunday. Strange. This time from something canned two years ago with a different batch of lids….


Filed under Compost, Mulch

10 responses to “Getting the garden ready for next year

  1. Hmm.. all on Sundays? Different Lids? Different batches of canning?

    I got nothin’.

  2. KimH

    Good on all of ya for getting that ground turned up.. It looks beautiful.. I cant imagine growing food all year long, but my dad lives in the very southernmost tip of Texas and he does.. Hes planting tomatoes when we’re under 2- 4 feet of snow..
    Thats just odd about those lids..

    • CTY

      New to the site & CA very excited.
      We just moved from NJ (the garden state) where I grew year round–even last year with the 4′ of snow we had. CA should be all that better. It does my heart good to see the turned soil.
      One of the best garden things I do for myself is prep the soil in late fall because the first semi-warm spring day I want to plant ( not fight with cold, hard, wet soil). I harvest, turn the soil, rake through compost & organic fertilizer and top it all off with the thickest pile mulched leaves (invites worms) I can get my hands on. The leaves keep the ground warm. In the spring I rake the mulched leaves to a section I am not using and plant in the soil. The leaves eventually end up in the compost pile.

  3. Kristi

    I keep hearing lids pop too…..are the lids actually loose after they pop? Mine don’t seem to be, but I may not be looking thoroughly enough.

  4. Maybe it is a pantry condition – too cold, too hot, too ???

    Try moving them and seeing if that stops the mysterious pops.

  5. Did you have a big change in altitude when you moved? That is the only thing I can think of. Very strange, indeed!

  6. Wow! Your 7 year old did an awesome job! 🙂


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  9. Pingback: Time to Plant Cover Crops | A Sonoma Garden

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