March 14, 2008

Garden Cleanup

I spent around 20 or 30 minutes this afternoon cleaning up the dead plants in my raised beds. All of the tomato plants had turned to crinkly husks that crumbled in my hand almost to powder. The chile plants were dried up sticks that pulled from the earth without resistance. The garden is uneven since I have cleared spaces where the dead plants were, but once this spring storm blows through on the weekend, I might attempt to move the chiles and peppers into more favorable locations in my garden and create room for new things. A few more weeds have popped up in the gravel pathway since I cleared it two weeks or so ago, but so far they are not in the way of my work and so I'll leave them be.

The easy cleanup this spring is part of the reason why I'm such a huge fan of square foot gardening or intensive farming. The raised beds mean that I don't have to bend down very far to work the soil or clear out last year's spent plants, the water usage and fertilizers are in small amounts so that saves me plenty of money and I am able to plant right next to my kitchen door so that fresh produce is always just a few steps away and I can keep an eye on the garden for pest control. I don't think that gardening gets any better than this. I once had someone scoff at my garden and called it a "child's garden" due to its small size, but you know, I don't need huge rows of dirt to take care of and the army of weeds that produces. Give me small and productive any day.

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