Monday, November 28, 2016

Leaf Mania

This year I decided to make some major changes to my yard. I eventually want to convert the whole yard into usable garden space, but a first step is making sure the existing garden space is fully used. To that end I decided to collect leaves this year and cover all the existing garden space. Right now it's mainly sand, even after 30 years of intensive composting and tilling.

So for the last month I've been on a leaf hunt. I figured 60 bags would do the whole

I've collected over 100 bags of leaves (only two of which had nasty seeds, which I had to sort) and spread them over the forest garden, the main garden, the western gardens, and actually decided to do the narrow section (apx 10 x 20) between the grapevines and the western garden. The leaves will be mulch for next year (I'm hoping to reduce water usage in the gardens by at least half, reduce water use by another third in the yard as a whole) and soil the year after.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, I'll do about six inches deep (instead of 18) next year and expand the gardens a little more. The front yard will be another forest garden once I'm finished and the only "lawn" will be the section under the ash. Which should technically be the main garden, since that's where all the leaves fall, but it's also the only piece of the lawn that stays green all summer.

I'm excited for the changes. As I convert to plants that actually thrive in this area our water needs will shrink to what the land itself can support. My greenhouse will be next, then small livestock will be added as I can support them from the existing land. The only remaining "need" will be electricity, which I'm working on. Once electricity is taken care of we can be completely self-sufficient in suburbia. :)

Well, except for inside water, but that's another story.