Optimism has entered my garden once again. Even as we approach the end of a tired summer when my plants are showing signs of heat stress or their inability to cope with persistent diseases, there is a tinge of anticipation in the stratosphere above our home.
There is nothing more hopeful in our yards than creating a new garden bed. The aroma of expectation wafts through my creative senses imagining scenes that are still years away. Thoughts of new plants that I will be able to upload for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day traverse my mind. Oh… the accolades – I should begin writing my speech now.
But with this newfound optimism also comes the tyranny of labour. The joy I shall reap in 2-3 years time will only come about if I get my butt into gear and start preparing the soil. No longer will my wife put up with my incessant “One day…” – it’s now action time.
So, why hasn’t this bed been prepared until now? Unfortunately it’s bordered by our new garden shed – which is finally finished BTW – and couldn’t be planted out until the walls had been erected and painted. But now all of that is completed and the garden bed was just hoarding various species of weed – weeds that wouldn’t dare inhabiting any other garden bed.
Also I had been waiting for my first compost heap to fully decompose and cool down so that I could start using it. And what a compost it was! Four wheelbarrow loads later and I had made way for the next one to be turned.
And 4 barrow loads was only just enough. This garden bed, with its very deficient sandy soil (using the word “soil” is a big stretch of the term), sucked it up in no time and was begging for more.
After watering the compost in it also became very apparent that the sand had become water-repellent. This is a huge problem if you’re planning to introduce plants straight away. Fortunately I have some time on my hands as I’m hoping to plant in early spring – some 9 months away – so solving this dilemma isn’t as urgent as one would expect.
While most gardeners would propose adding some wetting agents or water saving crystals, at 35 I’m a misnomer wanting to do it the “old way”. That is, I’m keen to start a ‘green manure’ and give the soil a chance to repair itself – naturally.
As this process will take 3-4 months, I’ll keep you updated with how the soil is improving and how the plant choices are progressing.