I wrote about my front bed expansion this winter, a slimy, heavy, massive, frozen, half-rotten leaf moving project. Going through the photos, I had flashbacks to the project and cursing the fair citizens of Eugene for throwing garbage in their piles of leaves that the city recycles. It was really disgusting, and I won’t be getting leaves from the city again. I had to pitchfork with a heavy fork just to pull chunks out of the compacted mountain, woven together with long pine needles, and then comb through for ivy, bamboo, and various pieces of metal, candy wrappers, and renovation debris. It really sucked. Too bad, because last year the leaves were nice and fluffy and fresh, and helped my garden out immeasurably.
The plan was to expand the 2009 Dissertation Draft Memorial Bed, pictured above in the little strip. This bed is one of the hottest areas in the yard, and it grew fine peppers and eggplant last year. I wanted to fill in the grass around the bed and create a full patch for growing more heat-loving crops like squash. So I laid out cardboard and mounded the leaves on top about a foot or so high.
And lo! The leaves have now mostly rotten down into a viable compost for the new beds, and the worms are a-squigglin’. We’re ready to go. I’ll probably build up the soil this year and leave the bed in the front right of the photo above mostly fallow, but the bed that follows the property line between the houses will be planted. There will be a path between the original Dissertation Draft bed and the haskapberry hedge-to-be at the property line, so I can have access to both sides of the bed and the berries.
Now it’s time to get serious! I’m going to till in some chicken manure compost, and get to planting ASAP.