There is a lovely small garden bed on the south side of our house that I plan to fill with kitchen herbs this summer. They don’t take much space and I love having them right outside the door so I can just pop out and snip some for whatever I’m cooking. It’s obviously been neglected for a year or two.
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Over the last couple of days I’ve been preparing it for the growing season. First I cultivated it shallowly by hand and cleared out the weeds. Got several buckets of tasty nutritious weeds for the chickens. They love fresh greens and aren’t picky!
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We’ve inherited quite a lot of old bales of straw, so I put down a thick layer for mulch. It will help retain water and build up the organic matter in the soil as it decomposes.
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Then I covered the whole thing with thick tarps and weighed them down pretty thoroughly with rocks because even in a nice sheltered spot, prairie winds are intense sometimes.
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It’s still a good month until I can trust the weather not to freeze at night, so I’m using the time to heat up the soil under the tarp. Hopefully this will trick the weed seeds into germinating and then smother them thru lack of sunlight, all before the plants I actually want even go in the ground.

While it is possible to have enough tarps for a given project, I’m not at all convinced that it is possible to have TOO MANY tarps stockpiled around an acreage. They’re useful for so many different things! What I’m saying is if you see them on sale, buy 4 or 5 cause you never know when you’re going to need one (or several).

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