The Yard Past

22 03 2011

We’ve been in this house in North Edmonton since late 2009. I was happy to find a place with a decent sized back yard that had all amounts of light and good space.

The house was fine;  A decent space that we will improve!  But I’m writing about my backyard.

We had a towering pine and two young trees.  An apple tree that, eventually grew a few pieces of unbelievably tasty fruit.  We also have berry shrub of some kind.  The berry is very bitter-tasting and I’m not convinced it’s edible.  We have substitute plants for that space, yes indeed!  There were two Manitoba maples.  These quasi-weed things  wouldn’t be hurting me too much to go away.  That first winter, my brother-in-law came over with his chainsaw and took it down top to bottom in NO time.  The other is along the south running fence and for now, we will let it be.

The ground needed re-grading.  It wasn’t a terribly dire situation but it definitely required some work.

The last note of consequence is a HUGE tree stump in our back yard (well, probably about 18 inches).  We plan on getting that ground out.  Depending on the quality of work, I may or may not recommend them.

For the garden itself, quack grass was through them though land had been cleared, it had been in a state of disuse for some time.  We did some good work with the quack grass that first year.  It wasn’t gone completely but it makes less and less of an impact every few times you weed.  Soil looked good right off; nice and dark and earthy though again, seemingly underutilized and in need of a pick me up.  We turned the whole garden over, aerated around the trees, cleaned up the mess and started our first compost pile.  We took care to put it in the spot that our tomatoes would grow the next year (to benefit from the minerals and good stuff leached into the soil…. more on that another time).  So we moved it half way through the season (in 2011, it’s back in the same spot as in these pictures) LOTS of garden waste and kitchen waste began to accumulate and by the time the snow fell and it got very cold we had a decent sized pile o’ gunk on the go.

Time line wise, most of our pictures don’t start until after our first winter with the exception of the big Manitoba maple growing over the garden.  That tree was cut down.  Also, the quack grass in the garden is not visible as our shoddy deck is in the way but trust me, it’s there.  The last picture would have been from around May of 2010.

We planned to have a bed along that back wall fence so in terms of things being laid down flat upon the ground, it just made sense, until we’re ready to make that bed anyways.  We sowed some grass seed to try to get more growth everywhere (especially after re-grading) with mixed results.  Hopefully this year, we see more success.

The next post, I’ll write about last year’s garden experiences.

The snow is still flying on March 21 2011 so I won’t get new pictures of the yard and explain the overall work to be done until then.  The 2011 growing season will be the focus of this blog but I’ll just write briefly about what 2010 was like.

I look forward to communicating about my work with mulching, berries, herbs, vegetables, shade, light, drain run off, compost, weeding, cooking with fresh vegetables, apples, mowing, grasscycling, yada yada.  Hopefully I can share, and gain knowledge with others.

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