Monday, January 4, 2010

The backyard -- what we've been up to...

Keep in mind that it's winter here in Oregon. We haven't gotten any snow yet (dagnabbit!), but temps usually are around 40-42 in the day and around freezing at night. We had that cold snap (for us) where temps got down to 8 and didn't get about 20, and then yesterday it got to 50 outside... but you get the idea. Most importantly though, it rains a whole lot. So think: lots of muck.

Remember when I said I had to get my garlic planted? Here is the bed I made! 50 cloves of garlic went into the mulched side of this garden bed. Excuse the mess around it; the bed was dug, put in, and filled up. We'll deal with all the muck around it in a month or two.

The bed measures 6'x6'. I like having the two slats because it allows for more drainage, if needed (which it is generally needed in Oregon).

We also made this cold frame. It looks a bit wobbly in the photo, but really, it's not. It's pretty stable. We had leftover PVC pipe we found in our yard, as well as the tarp, logs, leaves and rocks. The only thing we had to buy was the clear/white sheeting.

Construction was:
Pile leaves on the ground until the entire base was about 6-8" thick. Put tarp over that, pin tarp edges down with leaves. Bury posts of frame into ground. put tarp on, anchor with stumps and rocks. Put leaves on top of stumps and rocks. Put dirt on top of leaves. Build basic benches indoors.
Here is the view off our back deck. The area up to those trees is about 80x100'. The trees are technically shared between us and our two neighbors, and the back lot (another 80x100') is technically shared also.

The hope is that our huge area will be garden space. We'll fix up under the trees and build a fire pit in the back lot. We really hope that the back lot will be more used than the trees. We really don't want our neighbor's teenagers hanging out till dawn near our home. Yea, it stinks, but look at all the space we have!

Here is the view to the south of the house and deck. There is stuff stuff stuff everywhere. No one's really done much with a lot of the space for a while.
Picture of the cold frame off the deck.

Interior of the cold frame. Right now, the leeks, Chinese cabbage and arugula are coming up nicely!

A gratuitous shot of the cute garden dog.

The next plan is to take a LOT of cardboard and lay it out over most of our 80x100' plot to kill the grass. That will make it MUCH easier to remove in a few months. Then, I plan on renting a rototiller to really get the game started. The yard is in an old floodplain; the river is about a block away. There's no threat of it flooding NOW, but because it used to a LONG time ago, there are a lot of small pebbles. The soil is RICH, but those pebbles can be annoying when it comes to digging. Thus, the rototiller!

I'll keep you posted with photos!

We have a LOT of projects going on inside the house too. Hey, it takes a lot to make 2 people and pets fit into a small cottage without feeling cluttered. That's what we're trying to do. I should take photos of that too, soon. We need to be finished with that soon.

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