tillage

Putting the garden to bed

Here is what the garden looks like right now…

Bye bye beans

Bye bye beans

We stopped our plantings early in order to whip things into shape. The weeds were mighty this year, and rarely does Mother Nature cooperate in the spring to allow for proper bed prep (meaning spring showers mean little actual garden work).

We’ve a new design in mind for our raised beds and lots of hopes to make things better and more efficient for next year.

Tillage

Tillage

It’s fun to think about all these things…now it’s time to make it happen.

Stay tuned to see what develops!

Fall prep

Worked hard the passed few days to prepare for fall….

Fall prep

Fall prep

After some tillage, these items were transplanted or direct seeded: lettuces, kales, Asian mustards, Swiss chards, Tokyo Bekana, Japanese collards, bok choys, tatsoi, salad turnips, radishes (D’avingon, Easter egg, Helios), mustard mesclun, lettuce mesclun, arugula, and bunching onions. Add to that diakon radish, Spanish radish, spinach and carrots planted today. Yay!

The broadfork

One of many tasks underway on this very beautiful day is tillage by way of the broadfork.

20140412-120727.jpg Bed prep with the broadfork

This tool helps to aerate, till and loosen compacted soil deeply, all by leveraging your own body weight. The benefit of using the broadfork for tillage over something mechanical is that the broadfork is much less disruptive to the soil’s structure (i.e. earthworms and microbes don’t get chewed up). So, this tool’s use comes highly recommended by most organic farm gurus (Eliot Coleman, Barbara Damrosch, John Jeavons, Pam Dawling, Jean- Martin Fortier….). It is a glad addition to our tool supply. This particular fork shown is the 14″ tine option from Meadow Creature. I think I am getting the hang of it though it is slower going than I expected (physicality on a warm day = clear evidence that I am out of training).

Anyway, after this step comes a beautiful layer of compost, a good raking, then 100s if not 1000s of onions, carrots and beets! One bed down, the rest of the garden to go! 🙂