“This Week in the Hollow” is a weekly series sharing glimpses of the adventures from our simple life in the hollow.
Next month will be 7 years since signing on the dotted line to claim our little homestead in the hollow. Some days, the laundry list of projects (like this recent one) feel like such a weight on our shoulders. While other days, it feels like a little piece of heaven on earth out here.
It has not been an easy transition for this city girl turned country girl. I wish I could tell you that everything fell into place since day one. On the contrary, we have had to overcome many unforeseen circumstances to get to where we are today. Seeing these behind-the-scenes of our progress this week is a great reminder that hard work pays off. And patience is a virtue worth pursuing.
This week, we added more raised beds to the homestead. Using galvanized watering troughs like these from Tractor Supply, is simple and doesn’t need any construction. Some folks will drill holes on the bottom of the troughs to help promote proper drainage, but drilling permanent holes would prevent us from using these again for another future project if we needed to. So we opted to simply leave the cap off of the factory drain hole.
Container gardening is a great way to start a garden fast. It can be an investment, but it’s fun to experiment with different techniques to see which plants work well in different configurations. At least this “experimental” gardener thinks so. (wink)
The toughest part of this mini DiY was having to dig and transfer dirt and rocks from other parts of the farm.
With all hands on deck, we were able to complete the mission on time and under budget by working together and using what we already had.
We first filled the bottom of the troughs with large rocks. We were careful not to impede the drain hole.
Next, we headed over to the old herb garden, turned bonfire pit to dig up some dirt. This area was flooding a lot and needed some drainage pipes installed, so it worked out well to transfer the extra dirt to the new “secret garden.”
Working outside in the springtime without mosquitoes is one of my favorite things to do. I look forward to it each year. I even think our teenager enjoyed the sunshine and gentle breeze. (smile)
Once the gravel, rock, and dirt were poured in, it was time to plant and mulch. Having our own wood chipper has been a blessing and time saver. We used to have to wait for the city to drop off free mulch, but now my husband just “fires up” the chipper and does a perimeter sweep on his tractor and gathers all the fallen tree limbs, branches, and leaves. It’s important to use organic mulch and make sure that you have a variety of tree parts to help supplement your soil with the proper balance between nitrogen and carbon matter.
We love using organic mulch around the farm! It has so many great uses. Mulch helps to hold in moisture without watering and helps to keep the weeds from digging their roots in. Plus, mulch offers an added bonus of feeding the soil as it decomposes. I try to add a minimum of 4 inches to really help it do its’ gardening magic. (smile)
I opted to make this new “secret garden” mainly for herbs. I know that it is a walk from the farmhouse kitchen, but I thought it would give me more opportunities to get a little walk in, enjoy some fresh air, and get some sunshine. Being out in nature and staying active is such an integral part of supporting overall health and wellness.
Plus, I get to say hello to these feathered friends in the chicken yard. (smile)
It will be exciting to see if these raised bed troughs take off like our other garden has. Raised bed gardening has been our “go-to” method for successfully growing a lot of our own food over the years. What about you? What is your favorite method of gardening?