Monday, November 11, 2019


It was a bit cold this weekend, but beautiful.  I finished the projects that I needed to finish...

Raised bed garden
The garden is done for the season and ready for next year's planting...

Raised bed orchard
Side note, we've always liked this view.  It's the side of the house as you walk toward the back and you first see the orchard.

Backyard orchard
I also got the orchard beds cleaned up as best as possible.  I cleaned out the weeds and grass inside of each one and then I edged all around them.  It looks neat and tidy now which is what we wanted.

We really need to figure out a way to prevent that next year.  I don't mind edging around them, that comes with the territory, but the grass in the beds, not sure how to prevent that.  We had all of that beautiful mulch down a few months ago and then it was filled with grass.  I don't know if weed block cloth and nothing else is what we need?  Or if being black it would heat up the soil? 

After last weekend's spiders and snake this weekend was free of creatures.  Well, let's be clear, it was free in the sense that I didn't SEE any of them and that's a good thing.

Tomorrow, the freeze prepping...

We would also like to give a big shout out today to all the veterans who have served our country.  You have sacrificed so much for the nation. Thank you for your service and thank you also to all who serve now.


  1. You can keep the weeds down by putting a thick layer of cardboard, then newspaper. Two layers of cardboard and at least 1" of newspaper. (If I have it, I tend to do 2 or three layers of Sunday paper thickness because it lasts much longer.) Then landscape cloth double thick. And finally a heavy load of mulch.
    I cut large water or juice bottles to make protective rings around the base of the trees so I can pile mulch high. 6" to a foot.
    If I see excessive weeds or deep weeds start to pop back up, I pull the mulch and redo the layers underneath. But that is really rare. Mostly it's easy pull stuff that tries to grow in the mulch. The side bonus, it helps keep moisture in the soil for a lot longer. Dad started doing this and his plants exploded in size with a lot less watering.

  2. You can put down a layer of hay. It would insulate the ground against freeze and would keep the ground semi wet so things don't dry out. I did this to my lemon trees over the summer.

  3. Looks really good! Unwanted grasses are every gardeners bane. The problem with landscape cloth is that it allows rain and some light through. Our wiregrass poked right on through it and ultimately bound it to the ground so that I couldn't pull the stuff up. Dan finally had to take the tiller to it, but years later, I'm still picking up bits of it here and there. Plastic as mulch is just as bad.

    I agree with Kim's idea. Removed what you can, put down thick layers of cardboard and top with a thick layer of wood chips. I've had my best success with this method. I wouldn't recommend hay or straw because these often contain seeds that perpetuate the problem.

  4. I think I've become a mulch fan. I've used weed block and it's fine, at least in our climate! Everything looks nice and clean!

  5. Your garden and orchard look so neat and pretty. Glad you didn’t have any creepy-crawly adventures this time. But you know they were watching you - “The woods have eyes!”

    Ugh, it should not be getting this cold this early in the season. I had to cover up a bunch of things. I’m worried about my citrus fruits – they aren’t ready to pick. Hoping they will be ok.

  6. I almost agree with others - several layers of brown paper grocery bags topped by several inches of wood mulch. I don't use newspaper because of the dioxin used in bleaching the paper, but if you do, make sure it's at least a veg-based ink.

    Not sure what it's like down there, but many of the power companies p here in the northwoods of Michigan will drop off truckloads of woodchips for free. As long as you aren't upset by there being a bit of greenery included, and that's actually a healthier mulch anyway.


  7. I agree with part of the comments, but with a little bit of changes. An ongoing Master Gardener project here in Indiana is landscaping the Habitat for Humanity houses. Those new homeowners love to see growing things, but don't have the time or experience to maintain plantings, so we have a usual way to mulch that keeps the work down for years. First, never pile a lot of mulch right up to the trunk of a tree, it'll kill it, or give the voles a place to hide and nibble on the bark. We make sure the soil is clean and loose, plant our bushes or trees, then lay down layers of newspapers, about 5 or 6 layers, then use composted bark mulch on top, about an inch of it. These thinner layers won't make a place for more plants to come up in, and keep the weeds from growing up and the moisture in. It will usually stay intact for 2 or 3 years.


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