We have been enjoying some of the strangest weather this fall. Last night's low was a frigid 24 degrees, and today's high? 65! It climbed 40 degrees in less than twelve hours and the consequence was fog. Lots and lots of fog, and dew too!
I managed to stay nestled in the house for a bit before venturing out with the dogs. They had a blast zooming around the yard and down into the orchard. I haven't seen them play so hard in months so it was fun to watch them truly enjoy themselves like that.
I snapped a couple of photos while I was tromping around, and then I came across the most awesome display of spider webs I've ever seen. They were on everything! They lined the fences, and draped gracefully over each and every stand of grass that the dogs hadn't trompled yet. Even more, they were lined with the most delicate dew. The whole field sparkled and shimmered. It was beautiful.
Shortly after the sun burned the fog away I got to work on the raised bed again. I have it fairly level and lined with cardboard, so I started loading in a bit of soil/compost to line the bottom. I'm going to be doing some lasagna style gardening I guess. I didn't even know it was a gardening fad until my mother described it for me. I've been layering stuff for a few years without even knowing. It's kind of fun to look at all the information now and apply it to what I've learned and what I want to try.
After the soil, I took my half-composted duck bedding and lay it down. The straw is still fairly intact, but it's breaking down quickly and the duck manure should be broken down enough by spring that it won't burn my plants. Of course I'll test it first :)
I've got two more of these beds to put in, hopefully getting them level and lined tomorrow, before making a run to the local compost yard to buy several cubic yards of compost to complete the beds with. I'd really like to put another set of these beds on the opposite side of the orchard path, but we'll see. Theyre not terribly expensive. The blocks cost me roughly $20 a bed, the cardboard is free and the compost is $9-11 a yard so not even counting the space taken up by soil and straw/manure from my own stash, the beds cost me roughly $30 a pop to put in and they'll be around for year after year, and I'll finally be able to grow (short to mid length variety) carrots! I'm really just trying to occupy my time while my tiller is in the shop. It needed the carburetor rebuilt, and when they went to take it apart they broke one of the pieces on the gas line (ARG!) so now we've had to wait an extra week for that piece to come in... I'm so frustrated, and when I get frustrated, I ... plan gardens! Haha.