Oh, how the weather has been so nice! If only it could be like this most of the winter, I’d be so happy! Since it was so nice out I decided it would be the perfect time to get out in the garden and prep it for winter. Yeah, over half way through winter and I’m just now getting it prepped for winter. Better late than never, right? I’m attempting to try the no-till method, so I really should have gotten it all cleaned up in the fall. But at the time, everything was producing so well that I couldn’t bear to tear it out. Then once frost came, it was too cold to go out and clean it up, plus I was just done with the garden and needed a break so I left it. Luckily with this nice weather, I’ve had a chance to get it done before spring.
On Saturday with Michael helping a friend set up a car port and the kids in town playing disk golf, I decided it was the perfect time to enjoy a little peaceful alone time in the garden. I headed out to the garden to check it out. Yep, it looked about the same as I had left it…
I should know by now with having animals on the farm, there is no such thing as being alone outside. As soon as the guineas spotted me, they all gathered in a little group and followed me around yipping at me with every move I made. The goats, which aren’t used to seeing me out and about other than to feed them, stood in a line at the fence meeh-ing at me. Then there were the roosters crowing, but they were just happy and running around enjoying the day. And then there were a couple of purring, meowing cats rubbing across my legs that I had to step over all the time to keep from tripping on them. Even though I wasn’t alone, and there was plenty of racket going on… and I even had to yell at the guineas and chase them away a couple of times… it was still peaceful. Yes, there is something I find so peaceful about working outside surrounded by the sounds of all the animals.
I got one row of tomatoes pulled out and cleaned up by the time the kids got home. Of course, as soon as Sweet Pea saw Miley out running around she went crazy meeh-ing at her… and of course, when Miley heard that, she ran to get her Sweet Pea. They spent the afternoon running around together…
Dylan and Brooke helped me finish pulling and burning the tomato plants. Once we got the cages and fence posts stacked, the grass and debris cleaned up and the mulch raked back into the row we called it quits for the day. It was quite a chore and I’m grateful they helped otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten it all done that afternoon.
Now that the garden is cleaned up, it makes me even more anxious for spring to get here. Sometime between now and when we start planting, I want to pull back the mulch and build up the beds with some compost. I do have to admit I really like the looks of a clean, freshly tilled garden to start out with so I’m struggling to resist the urge to pull the mulch off and till those beds. The biggest reason I wanted to switch from tilling to no till is to keep the weeds down. When you till, you end up working more weed seeds in and exposing seeds already in the ground which allows more weeds to grow. The first couple years that we tilled the whole garden, it was very hard to keep ahead of the weeds. It was impossible to find enough free resources, like newspaper and grass clippings to get it all mulched in a timely manner. I’d end up buying landscape fabric and straw, which got to be expensive. Not to mention, it’s time consuming and a lot of work. So last year I decided it was time to try no-till and got the beds set. This year with be the first year that we won’t be tilling, with the exception of a small portion of the garden. We’ll see how it goes.
Till or no till… what do you think?