So I guess I'm due a photo update. It's been a long time since I showed a good looking garden. We've been practically living outside each night now that the weather is good and usually don't come in until it gets dark.
I finally made a proper compost pile. I'm going to flip it once more and then put it down as a mulch. I think it'll cover around 100-150 sq feet at a good 4-6 inches thick. I've also started another compost pile. But I need to build more bays! I'm starting to generate a lot of organic waste. I'm bagging all my grass clippings and putting them in the compost (or in the chicken run when the dandelions seeded). The chicken run bedding is going to get composted soon as well, its got about 2 years worth of shit, leaves and grass in there.
We've also been collecting/identifying free local organic waste. So far we've collected about 20 lbs of coffee grounds from Starbucks and have found a source of free horse manure about 2 miles south of us. On top of all the wood chips!
I've started mulching with all the leaf mould I made. It's not quite broken down which makes it perfect for a mulch, which I used on the bed below. I think it looks really nice and no more weeds! I put about 6 inches down.
I've decided on a strategy with the wood chips. The paths are getting 8-12 inches put on. The beds themselves will have grass clippings/leaf mould/horse manure put down and then wood chips on top of that. I'll let it sit and rot down all year and then next spring I will rake all the wood chips that are left into the paths. This way I get the best of the mulch breaking down but don't have to plant into them.
Our hedge is growing in nicely. We put it in for a wind break and for privacy.
Also for wildlife, which is working quite well. A robin built a little nest in one of the bushes.
We've been splitting and moving a lot of our hostas/shade garden plants. This bed has about doubled in size this year. We have nearly 50 varieties of just hosta, not to mention all the others.
Our wildflower bed is really taking off. The weeds aren't even getting a chance to grow, there is so much phlox, daisy, bachelor button, etc...
We put a shade cloth over the chicken run to protect them from the hot sun. Prior to putting this on, they would just huddle under the little shelter I built for them. Now they stay nice and cool and so does the coop.
We are sick to death of getting maggots in our cherries and so we are actually doing something about it. Say hello to the ghost in our orchard! Supposedly this works 100% of the time if you get it on in time. I might have been too late because most of the cherries have a little puncture on them but they are still green and fruit fly don't lay in green fruit....so I'm not sure yet.
Can you see DW way up by the gardens?
I keep the grass long in our orchard to absorb spray from rain so we don't get fungal disease. It works well. Also it lets deep tap root plants thrive with aerates the soil and also lets plenty of beneficial insects thrive.