This weekend in the Cage Free House, we decided it was time to start planning our spring garden. We got a late start last year, because we didn’t realize two things.
One of the things we didn’t realize was how much prep time truly goes into a successful garden. The other thing we didn’t realize was just how early we could start in this climate. Up in Seattle, we planted our garden in late April and it was perfect, but here in Southeast Texas, our potatoes can go in the ground this month, and just about everything else can be planted in March, which will allow our plants more time to mature and produce lots of home grown goodness for us!
That’s the plan, anyway.
So, since this is a brand new (to us) backyard, there was a little bit of early season prep work to be done before we can start thinking about planting.
You can see in this picture that there is a lot of garbage in our back yard, right? Just kidding. It’s there on purpose. This weekend, Cage Free Dad spend a couple of hours breaking down some of our moving boxes and laying them out over the grass in this section of our back yard. We did this to help eliminate grass and weeds from growing up in our garden.
While many gardeners opt to lay down plastic sheeting for this same purpose, my eco-friendly conscious just couldn’t do it once I read that there was a greener way to go. It turns out that using card board, newspaper, or other compostable paper products instead of plastic sheeting will still kill the grass and weeds in the area you want for your garden, while composting into the soil, leaving nothing for you to pick up once your garden is done. This also allows more room for your plants to root into the ground, which is always a benefit for strong, healthy plants.
In this case, we were lucky enough to have plenty of moving boxes on hand for this job, but if you haven’t recently moved, you can also use your local newspaper, so start collecting!
We’ll leave these boxes out for a few weeks, allowing them to be exposed to the elements, and then before we plant our garden we will till this in, because at that point, it should have done it’s job and begun composting.
Look at all that future garden space! It looks really nice to me. I can’t wait to have our first big in ground garden this year to give us lots of extra produce!