Monday, July 25, 2011

Straw; a temporary solution for our back yard

Our back yard is still a work in progress. I have lots of ideas about what I want it to look like eventually, but garden projects can take time. You want to plan well, have enough cash to make it happen, and try not to kill yourself with all of the labor all at once.

Last year we started with the front garden, then expanded on that this year, then added the rooftop so the back garden is not receiving the attention it needs yet. At some point the kiddie pools in the PVC frame will actually be a full green house, and the raised bed in back will be moved so we can plant our grapes. We have several other ideas for changing things around back here but in the meantime, I wanted the area to look cleaner and more professional. It was just a bunch of dirt with weeds, and still is basically.  

My first bale of straw
Our back yard after adding a layer of straw
I decided to add a layer of straw on top to make it look more "finished", and reduce the weeds and dust. I pulled a lot of the bigger weeds but I also left many of them there. The idea is that I will continue to add straw each month on top, and choke out the weeds instead of having to pull them all, or worse yet, spray them with some chemical. The straw makes the back yard look, smell, and feel like a real farm.

My initial investment was $28.00 for 2 bales of straw and I think it is money well spent. I will add one more bail on a monthly basis to help freshen it up and continue to choke out the weeds.  

 I got my straw from City Farmers Nursery, one of my favorite places to go.

Their farm cat, KC was happy to help me with my transaction.
City Farmers is a very cool place and I thought I'd share some photos of what they have growin' on.

They are selling dig your own tomatoes which is a great idea to reduce the amount of plastic pots they are using. 
I love the way they think. The cinder block support for their bench is just one example of their resourcefulness 
Lisianthus, my neighbor just bought some cut ones last week, they are really beautiful
The lovely Kelly is one of my favorite cups of crazy
A bale of straw in the back of the car, feeling like a legitimate farmer
Gidget has been destroying my knee pad for days, I guess she doesn't think I deserve comfort  while working in her garden

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