The Fall Dig (and some plans for the future)

January is a weird time to be writing about Fall. I will be the first to admit that. I have had versions of this post, just sitting in my draft folder, and I really just wanted to write about my gardening again. And I really didn’t want to wait until next fall to post about it.

As I have mentioned before, we have an amazing new place for next year’s garden. But it needs a lot of hard work and effort to get it back to good growing ground. This is essentially the first chapter at this new place, and so, without further ado, this is my post about Fall in January…

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Almost every night after work in late September and October, Cal and I have gone to get some digging done. This is our plan for spring too… So we don’t slack on the weeding this time around, we will do short bursts every night so it is less of a daunting task.

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we found A LOT of worms while we were picking all the grass roots out by hand.
Awesome sign!

Fall is a great time of year to get the garden soil broken up for next spring. Recommended by nearly every gardening source out there. The winter frosts will help break up the clumps left in the soil. We are also working some organic matter in, so there will be more nutrients in it, and ideally the worms will think it is awesome and stick around.

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This is how the garden area looked in the summer.
Lyra thought it was pretty awesome though.

The garden area, just outside the greenhouse, has just been grass for close to 10 years, so we have a battle ahead of us. We are trying to get as much of the grass roots out that we humanly can. And the best way to do it is with good old fashioned hard work. On (Canadian) Thanksgiving Weekend, the two of us, and Cal’s kids and boyfriend and the land owner, and a few other people he rounded up, got to work. With 8 people, the work goes much faster, and we got the outdoor area dug and rotor-tilled, and as much of the grass and rocks removed as possible.

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Many hands made light(er) work, and it looks like a garden again

As it stands right now (January) we are looking good. The soil there out there will still need some attention once everything melts. We have access to a ton of well rotted compost at our job… So we will be carting some of that over, in order to work some more organic matter and nutrition back into the ground.

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The rototiller helped a lot – AFTER we dug by hand and got as many roots out as possible.

In the greenhouse, we got the majority of the growing areas dug up. They are no longer hard-packed, and sun-baked. We watered as much as possible, to help the large clumps of soil break up once Winter hit. Fall Leaves were worked into the soil to help add some organic matter. All things considered, I think we are in a great position to start Spring, with just a little heavy labour left.

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The greenhouse, with just the very front (on the left) dug

This month, we start our planning… I can hardly wait!

To keep up with our progress throughout the year, Just click on “Greenhouse Garden 2014” in the header. I will link all posts pertaining to that garden up there, as time allows… You can also follow along with the other two growing spaces. Backyard Garden and Barn Garden.

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Clumps of dirt in the greenhouse
Not Ideal, but a far cry from the hard packed and baked dirt that was there
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