Sunday, March 13, 2016

Side Lot Potential

I've been building sheet mulched beds in our side lot with all the plant matter and finished compost we have generated over the last year.  It looks rough...just bags of leaves and piled organic matter.  I am really looking forward to 2016 as the year we can get things growing in this lot, put up a nice fence and create a lovely area of shrubs and flowers instead of frankly, a bit of an eyesore.  We recently got a load of topsoil dumped to top off the sheet mulch beds since it is just fill and subsoil beneath them.  I am also going to use some of the topsoil to establish flower beds elsewhere.

Topsoil delivery
We had to take out a paw paw tree that didn't have room to grow at Garden Dreams, so this was the first tree planted.  Paw paws have taproots and don't like to be transplanted, so I give him a 50/50 chance.  That is what I'm excited about - this lot is a place to experiment.  All bets are off.

Sheet mulch berms/beds
I use the phrase "sheet mulch beds"  loosely.  A properly built sheet mulch bed would have nice layers of first cardboard, then maybe compost, then some manure, then perhaps straw, then some soil, then some grass clippings, etc.  These "beds" are more piles of organic matter.  Large piles.  With vines and small branches in them even.  Hugelkulture meets sheet mulch.  These are haphazard, to say the least, but I think they are full of potential, and definitely full of earthworms.  

Some perennials that may make an appearance here in the side lot:
  • Witch Hazel
  • Serviceberry
  • Apple
  • Paw Paw
  • Ninebark
  • Spicebush
  • Grey Dogwood
  • Nodding Onion
  • Showy Tick Trefoil
  • Goldenrod
  • Sweet Cicily
  • Sedges
  • Wild Columbine
  • Chives
Anything I plant has to be unappealing to ground hogs and deer or protected from them.  I'll likely cage the shrubs until they get established.  The more things I can plant from the allium family, the better, I think.  
Sheet mulch topped off with topsoil
"Uhhhhh, I guess this could look nice some day if you say so."

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