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Putting the garden in order

Rebuilding raised beds.

Mark and I are devoting this week to remedying a couple of major garden mistakes we've made over the last year.  The first mistake was totally mine --- I let the weeds take over the garden in late fall last year.  In a traditional garden, this isn't a huge deal, but for no-till it's a catastrophe since it means a major weed infestation the next spring (right now.)  Short of losing two year's soil ecosystem growth by tilling, or buying masses of mulch to cover the beds, the only solution is many days of hand weeding.

The second mistake was a joint mistake.  We've been working on burying our water line this winter, which meant digging a two foot trench down the middle of the garden.  Although I was careful to lay out the trench in the aisles, lots of clay ended up mounded on top of beds.  The result was no visible aisle, so Lucy started tromping all over the raised beds.  And, of course, clay on the raised beds is bad too. So we're mashing down the trench to turn it back into an aisle, and in the process building up the raised beds on either side with non-clay topsoil to make them more visible.

This is the real reason I hadn't planted my tomatoes yet --- they were slated to go in this half of the garden and I was thoroughly overwhelmed by the prospect of whipping it back into shape.  I melted down this weekend, and Mark decided it was time to fix the garden if that's what it took to have his usual cheerful wife back.  Monday we whacked about a third of the upper garden back into shape and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

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