Construction has a way of making me happy. Can’t say as I have been my usual happy self lately, but…when I observe, or participate in, something being built I am joyful. Not to say that all construction is happy construction, but most of what I personally do is positive, and future-directed. I don’t build jails, say, or army barracks. Or Wal*Wart stores.
Finding a corner: A squared plus B squared equals C squared
Busy weekend; we began construction on the new greenhouse. Yay. Too bad Tom was sick or it would be up now! Poor thing. Pounding head while pounding stakes.
This doesn’t look like much but…it is. Eight stakes one side.
This part is actually the hardest part: getting the ground stakes level and aligned. All that rain though left our tough clay soil slightly easier to work, thankfully. Next come the bows and purlins, then a wood base, then the end walls, and then the plastic. Hopefully before first frost it’ll be enclosed.
What do you use to keep the grass from growing between your raised beds? I’m putting in raised beds this year (so my kids can safely walk through the vegetable garden), and I haven’t figured out what I want to put between them.
Hi Natalie. In the greenhouse itself the grass is not really a problem, though I do get weeds from time to time. Outside, I put down a couple layers of cardboard or feed bags or whatever is handy and then get woodchips delivered (dumped) from the unstoppable electric company’s tree trimmers. Weeds still might go through them but grass won’t. I do have to weed the paths but the alternative (nothing) doesn’t work at all, I have found. It’s good to have as thick of a bed of woodchips as you can get. It’ll rot down to nothing in a few years though.
What a great feeling to make such progress. You guys rock!
Why do you want “as thick a bed of woodchips as you can get”? We don’t have raised beds and have just dirt in between the rows. My father-in-law comes behind us with a hoe as we walk the paths and says we need to keep the paths aerated so the plants can breathe. I haven’t found that information anywhere.
Well, Jeri…I guess I am not worried about plants growing roots UNDER the beds under the paths. Really, the woodchips are to save me work, as the first 2 years I had nothing in the paths and actually hoed them to keep the weeds down, failing miserably I should add. Last year we put down 3″ of woodchips in the paths atop cardboard. Now the cardboard is long gone and so is about an inch of woodchips but I don’t have to weed. As much. So it’s more about tidiness. Water will get through certainly and the worms will keep it aerated as they LOVE the chips.
Wal*Wart. That’s cute!
Again, I learn SO much from you.
I stupidly planted a small plot that’s actually too big for me to weed. Can’t reach in. I love the idea of walkways. Cardboard. Junk.
Oh…it’ll be great. I like that you are an architect that actually knows how to build! Ha!
And agreed on the use of cardboard and wood chips, after the initial work, they are a time and back saver. I do like the smell of wood chips which is good because I have a couple tonnes to shift. Lucky for me, my powerhouse mother and sister are helping me.
I’m going to try cardboard in my shop garden next year; I tried to fight the horrid bermuda grass with inches of newspaper and mulch this spring. Nope, the grass beat me again, which is so publicly humiliating.
MTgardengirl: Can’t claim it as my own, but…when I was thinking about what could be “negative” construction somehow those stores slipped into my mind.
CC: I will tell you it is a bit of a mind meld. I went from thinking I had to buy everything (as a city gardener) to playing the rather bizarre game of “what do we have on hand, or what can I get for free” that is gardening here on the farm. I’d quickly bankrupt ourselves if I stuck to the old model. So I saved a fall/winter’s worth of boxes that came to the house, flattening them and storing them for the spring. Then we shoveled something like 25 wheelbarrow loads of free chips atop the spread-out boxes. This new way of thinking has worked well, but believe me, it required transition. Can you save your grass clippings? How about all those newspapers you’ve finished reading 😉 ? Lay the papers down, then the grass clippings, between all your plants and there you go: no weeding. Do the cardboard and woodchips for the paths and bingo. Of course then your celery and onions might not reseed themselves for you…
Nada! Lucky you, with sister/mom labor! I know your site is hilly too so they must really LOVE you. Yeah I love our greenhouses, and will be so happy when the framework is up on this second one: there’s still so much to do sigh sigh sigh and grapes and apples to pick yet…
Pamela, I tell you they work. Make sure you slap a lot of the cardboard down though to kill that bermuda grass. We have a nasty rhizome-spreading grass that can grow a foot without seeking daylight but not 2′ so as long as my paths are that wide then things work well.
The cardboard and mulch for paths is a brilliant idea! I had a flower bed MANY many moons ago on my parents’ farm. The bed was not raised, but did have a path through the middle. I had slate stepping stones (New England fields are known for growing rocks as readily as anything else), and I planted creeping thyme in between. It wasn’t 100% weed free (but close) but the thyme liked the full sun location, and sprawled out quite happily with good drainage and didn’t mind being stepped on. Creeping thyme isn’t quite the same as its leggier culinary cousins, but will still do the job in the kitchen if you’re in a pinch. I first saw it used in lieu of grass in a local cemetery and HAD to have it. No mowing, no watering, and it looks and smells lovely!
My mom grows hardy creeping sedums in her rock garden too. THAT stuff really will fill in and choke out weeds, spreading quickly (but not invasively) and forming dense chartreuse mounds. It doesn’t handle the foot traffic quite so well as the thyme, but since it’s between stones anyway, it does quite nicely.