With Jennifer away visiting a friend this weekend, Jess and I started the autumn clean up. This includes policing up the many, many leaves that the lovely old elm trees drop on our lawn.
In the past I've used these as mulch but this year I have been digging up the garden beds and alternating shallow layers of leaves and soil. This should give the worms something to chew on and is hopefully a step towards keeping the soil fertile and breaking up the clay. We turned in some manure earlier this fall and I will lime the beds in the spring.
The leaves added about four inches of depth to the two alley beds that Jess intends to "farm" next spring, although snow and rot will likely pack things down again. But she should have 10 inches of loose soil for carrots.
All of our alley beds have been quite productive. We have four 6x3' beds and one 6x6. The three beds Jess hasn't call dibs on will host beans and beets and maybe broccoli. I then started digging the both the front and backyard veggie beds but called it when my back started complaining. The weather looks good so there is still plenty of time to get this work done.
Retreating back inside, Jess and I made a salad for dinner (found a few more cucumbers on the garden while I was digging) and an apple pie. And then I hauled down the fruitcake and put Jess to work added more rum. They smell very good and have a nice moist texture.
Up next: LIkely Christmas lights and more bed amendments. I haven't the energy to put in any bulbs this year (we put in about 200 last year) but I may move the strawberries. I would also like to put together a cold frame for the spring now that I have secured some glass.