Preparing The Grounds

With Excavator Kurt back at work, we needed to do some clean-up and remove some more of our temporary garden pieces. In order to be able to dig in the new wall terraces, we needed to remove all of the tomato towers that we had built and dug into the hillside. Those sturdy towers have been allowing our tomatoes plants to grow large, sturdy and full of tomatoes. We considered using them in the new permanent beds, however the portion of the legs that were in the soil are not in the best condition anymore and we didn’t think it would work to use them. We do plan to repurpose the wood for some of our other trellises or braces. For the new tomato section, we plan to do a larger, single trellis/brace for the plants. It will have dividers within it to help keep the tomatoes within their own spaces, but the plants will now be planted much closer together, so we won’t need individual towers.

We also had to remove all of the irrigation from that side as the digging and wall building will reshape where and how the irrigation will be run. We saved all the drippers for future garden use, as well as any longer sections of line that we can re-purpose. Might as well reuse any of it that is in good condition! I also removed the brackets from the landscaping tie wall that is just below the cedar trees. We will also re-use those where we can for the larger feeder lines.

We managed to get the soil out of our other raised bed and into the top wall garden bed. The warm weather had finally thawed out all the soil, making it possible to move it into the new garden beds. We just about filled the top wall bed, but ran just slightly short. Not a problem, we still have a pile of good soil that we can use to finish filling that bed in preparation for planting in a few weeks. We have replaced the tarps, ensuring that no weeds can sprout and also keeping the soil warm for all the bugs and worms. Its always nice to see lots of life in the soil.

We took down the raised beds and took the irrigation lines off the one side. We left the PVC sticking out of the ground as we may want to tap into that this spring. For now we have covered it with a bucket to ensure none of us kick it or trip over it accidentally. The other PVC that was running to our other bed will be left, along with the lines as we plan to put our potato towers there temporarily while we work levelling out the yard and getting some grass growing. Dogs make life so much fun. We are going to have to fence off an area of the bottom to get the grass started and then once it is doing well, open it up and block off another area and repeat the process. Currently the girls dig ridiculous amounts of holes, which we are going to have to break them of that habit. As we work on levelling, we may decide to dig out that PVC line that is closest to the newest beds, but our future plans do include some trees and a few flower beds, so it may still be in a good spot for all of that. No point in removing it if it can still be useful.

We also removed all the trellises from behind the path wall. Those were temporary as I had gotten overzealous last year with buying new varieties of plants and had run out of space. I had created them some temporary homes for last year. Those trellises are in really good condition because they are only a year old, so I will utilize them in the new beds. Possibly needing a bit of modification, but still very useful. I think I will remove the tops of them and make them a tent shape rather than having a flat top. I feel that the vine plants will have an easier time climbing them if they have a slope that allows the plant to attach to. Here is hoping! I’ll use it for the squash, cucumbers and possibly melons if I end up planting some.

After we finished removing all those trellises, towers and garden beds, our yard looked so different. The space is so much bigger than it looks, especially when it is emptied of all the clutter. We have grown so accustomed to seeing all that space that it is interesting to have a drastic shift in the look of the landscaping again. I imagine that it will be another drastic shift once we have our new fences and walls. Our development started off slow in the first few years, but it has rapidly increased and now we feel like we are making major headway and getting close to our final look. Next year will be focussing on the lounge area, trees and the final few flower beds. Then we will get to putter and enjoy the garden and gazebo. I am very much looking forward to seeing what our oasis will look like when all is said and done. Although, let’s be honest…is it ever really done?

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