Thursday, September 19, 2013

Berry Bed

Finally, a good rain.  It started raining last night and the rain continued until late morning.  Only an inch, but it was a slow rain that soaked everything.  Maybe now I can stop pumping water out of the pond.

In 2008 I cut down two small trees to make way for the vegetable garden.  The ash tree was just north of the beds but its roots were sure to compete with the vegetable plants.  By this summer the stump had decomposed enough that I was able to push if over and remove it with its roots.  Last weekend I extended the terrace about four more feet then made a right angle turn at the end, sort of enclosing the space where the tree had been. 

With the tree out of the way I decided to build another bed in this space.  More to the point, a bed for berry bushes, probably red raspberries.  I'm not sure at this point just how the bed will look, how big it will be or exactly what I'll plant, I just know there's going to be a new bed.  This space is the only remaining space available in the garden area that gets a full quota of sunlight.  Below the terrace the ground slopes to the north toward the pond.  I laid out some stone on the terrace just to get some ideas.

The terrace was made from rejects from a nearby limestone quarry.  I guess the color is off but they look good to me, especially at a penny a pound.  The blocks on top are colored cement edgers from the big box lumberyard.  I've always had some concern that the nearby hop hornbeam tree (behind the picnic table) could send it's roots into a bed here, so I'll stop the bed some distance from the tree.  I think a raspberry bush should be able to hold it's own, considering that the tree is a slow-growing and rather small tree.

I can never plan something like this and execute the plan quickly.  I have to make a prototype of sorts, come back to it the next day, maybe change it a little more before I can finally settle on the design.  Given time, the right plan always seems to emerge.

The other tree that was cut down five years ago, a tulip poplar, had also rotted to the point where I could remove the stump.  This tree's root system left quite a mound and I've been trying to dig the rest of it out.  It's not going as easily into that good night as the ash tree.  One thing I've noticed is that the dead trees impoverish the soil around them, possibly because the rotting roots use up the nitrogen in the soil.  I'll be happy to see the rest of this removed so the ground can be leveled.

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