Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fresh Woodchips For The Vegetable Garden

It was a relatively warm day and there was no snow covering it. I had to return my empty dung boxes for refilling and had noticed some mighty fine looking fresh piles of woodchips down by the river in my travels to and fro. Seemed like the perfect chance to load up on some woodchips for the roadside vegetable garden. My layer of chips was getting thin. The stuff just keeps decomposing making my soil better and better every year.

One load of fresh woodchips is spread. Would you look at what is still growing in the vegetable garden a few days before Christmas. The strawberry patch of course. They are perennials. But there are spinach, leeks, beets, carrots, radish, giant split turnips and freshly sprouted mache. I really should be ruthless and harvest or toss most of it. Why is that so hard?

If I was really ambitious there are a number of true season extending procedures I could put into place for the cool season crops. That can wait for the economic collapse.

It will take another three loads to finish the whole vegetable garden. I fill old plastic mulch bags with the woodchips at the dump site down by the river. Then I just carry the bags to where I want to put the chips. That saves me from having to pitchfork the chips twice.

There is plenty of time to get the woodchip mulch done before the garden season returns. I can fetch chips when the conditions are just right.

And then there's the dung from the horses I work for. It will be added to the roadside vegetable garden for the best garden ever. I have three big piles like this plus the two wire cages full of the stuff. It needs turning. That is supposed to speed things up. It is cooking despite my inattention. On frosty or snowy days there is usually a warm wet spot at the top of the heap. Maybe I'll turn the piles later. At least one of these heaps needs to have some finished product by March. Maybe later. Yes I'll turn those piles later.

While I was up there working along the scenic byway, I thought I might as a well get the gawkers perspective as they slowly drive by. At this time of year I am fully exposed to prying eyes. Lots of folks wave. Sometimes I wave back.

The regulars get to check in on my progress. They are sure to have noticed the glass bottle edging and the new short dry stack wall.

Maybe I am getting used to being a roadside attraction. I'd better because Ku'ulei A'ina is only going to keep getting more attractive over time.


Anonymous said...

I love that last pic.

Christopher C. NC said...

A roadside attraction for sure, eh. If only I hadn't lived on a dead end street at the very bottom of a half acre lot for all those years. I never knew what was happening up along the street.

Carol Michel said...

I would love to find a pile of wood chips for my garden. It would smother all the henbit growing in it these days. Yes, that's what I need. Plus maybe a couple of my nephews to haul it in for me.

Christopher C. NC said...

Carol that henbit is always trying to sneak back in to the roadside vegetable garden where the wood chips start to thin out. It's hiding out there in the Lush just waiting.

Becky said...

For a gardener,wood chips and horse manure are something really special. Of course if they are free it's as good as winning the lottery.You are indeed a lucky man!

Siria said...

Christopher, it's looking awesome! What a sight to see!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

A gardener on display. Those lucky travelers. Not only are you spreading wood chips and horse dung you are spreading inspiration through out your area.

Lola said...

Looking good Christopher. Next spring the roadside garden will be a looker for sure. Yes, the winter months does put one on display but they are just admiring your wonderful handiwork.
I was asked one time if I didn't do anything but work. Nothing else to do that brought more pleasure.

Christopher C. NC said...

Becky maybe my woodchips and horse dung are just a warm up for winning the lottery. maybe I need to buy tickets though.

Not looking to shabby Siria. I have even been working on reducing my pile of construction left overs to get that out of here.

Lisa I know lots of the folks in these parts must wonder about the woodchips in the vegetable garden. All I can say is I see their soil when I drive by. My soil is three shades darker.

Lola it certainly does give me pleasure to keep puttering away making progress.