Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Biological Advantage

Snickers got the short end of the stick when it comes to biology and her leg, but she is doing her best to give my garden a biological jump start. I decided to rip out half of one of my overgrown planting beds. It is twelve years old and needs some fresh ideas. The weed barrier isn't doing the trick anymore, the plants have become leggy, and one of the larger shrubs is dying.
So Snickers and I went outside, I leashed to the anchor so she couldn't explore the whole neighborhood, and we went out with shovel in hand. Once the old shrubs were dug out, I decided to pull up the old weed barrier. It was covered with mulch that had broken down into soil, and I could see why so many weeds were beginning to sneak through. They were actually growing through the barrier and expanding the holes as they grew. I decided not to put down a new barrier. This way, I'll be able to plant a variety of bulbs wherever I want and then experiment with some "bunch" plantings. I'm thinking of buckwheat, but I have all winter to think about it.
After pulling up the barrier, I had to pause and clean up Snickers droppings so my husband could cut the lawn. I decided to add that to the bed as fertilizer while I was digging; smellier than regular fertilizer, but by spring, it will have become part of the soil.
Here are some pictures of the weed barrier.

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