Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Barn, the Lawn, the Woodpile, and Then Some

I've been trying to squeeze in as many projects as time allows, which means that I get no rest and have no time to breathe, but sleep and oxygen are overrated when you're training to be a real man.

With this in mind, I need to keep my feet moving. It's a little crazy when you get down to it. My first order of business is to get next year's wood split, stacked and drying. My goal is to get 10 cords onto those pallets, I've got about 40% done. Last year we used about 5 cords, so I need to revise my estimates of how much to have on hand. This translates into about 10 cords of wood. Last year we cured about 8 cords but ended up dipping into next years pile. Plus, our wood was not even close to being dry enough, which frustrated me to no end. I've got to cut and block up about 6 cords in the front yard, then split and stack it. I think we're also getting another truckload, i.e., 7 cords. Yikes!

Then we have to finish installing the windows and doors on the barn. I'm really close to being ready, and thought we'd begin this week, but will probably being next week. Found a good person to help me, CH's uncle, JH, and he lives right down the road. Score. Also have to get more windows for the second floor and begin thinking about that darn soffit and fascia.

Then there's the issue of our house and replacing the trim. I've also got to finish painting two sides of the house, and of course, the all important finishing of the front deck.

The garden is in shambles and will need to be turned. I speak with all these people who are up on the latest wisdom that they've read that tells them not to turn their gardens. In certain ways it makes sense, but our gardening guru extraordinaire, WWA, says she tills/turns her soil, so that's enough for me. How else are we going to conceal the weeds?

I've got to re-stain and finish our picnic table. It's really taken a beating, mostly because I used the wrong stain and finish. It was soy based and non-toxic, but I think I need the nasty stuff to endure the elements. What would my Mentor have to say?

Okay, that enough for now. I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting, but such is life. Thanks for reading, and sorry to be AWOL.


MMP said...

We do till now, but eventually we would like to move to raised beds and no tilling.

We are tilling now because we are breaking virgin ground (it was a mix of grass, brush and small trees. Part of it is to breakup the ground, but we also need to incorporate a lot of organic matter as the soil is not rich.

Heavily mulching is another alternative to tilling. In our well established beds we only add new mulch on top, we don't till.

A tried and true method is to layout newspaper or similar and then layer grass clippings or other mulch on top of grass. Block the light and the growth to kill the grass and eventually you have rich soil. It takes time though, potentialy an entire growing season in my experience.

Tilling and plowing is so satisfying, though. You rassle with that lurching beast for an afternoon or maybe a weekend and at the end you have tamed the savage lawn.. Nothing left but smooth level dirt.

phredude said...


Thanks for the advice and insight. We're still novices in the gardening department but our body of knowledge is growing by leaps and bounds with every screw up that we make, and we sure make a lot of them. At this rate, in about ten years, we'll have the drill down.

We do the raised beds, and it sure makes a difference. We've been getting our compost locally from a farmer but it seems to encourage weeds and we wonder if it is fact composted properly.

For now, we'll continue to till, it just works best for us.

Hope you are well, and take care.