When we bought our house it had what people would, probably, call a lawn. I mean, it was a crappy lawn – and we have since discovered that part of the reason it was so crappy is that a bunch of it had grown on top of what was, I would assume, plastic intended to stop things growing over a plant bed.
This had (again, I assume) become covered in enough rotted down leaf debris that the grass could take hold and bury the plastic where it slowly degraded under the soil into an irritating layer of nastiness that we keep finding bits of. But anyway, there was a lawn.
Now, lawns are bollocks anyway. They’re just waste-of-space markers of wealth. Oh look, I can pretend to be lord of the manor, and instead of having a useful garden I can instead have this patch of useless monoculture that does nothing but suck up nutrients. And if you actually want it to look ‘good’ it’ll need constant attention with weeding, or worse with weed killer, and it’ll also need you to water it through the summer, and blah, and blah, and bleh.
I am not a fan of lawns.
If you love lawns, you do you (so long as you’re not spraying roundup on it, or pouring gallons of fertilizer on it).
There’s actually a creepily perfect lawn just down the street from us and I find it deeply unnatural.
Anyhow, we quickly set about ruining it – partially for practical purposes (having a soak-away), partly for having garden… and today we annexed yet another section, extending the bed that we grew stuff in last year outside the back door. We were doing some edging to make maintenance a bit easier… Last year, because of the somewhat rapid way that we did gardening (rotavate, throw in compost, rotavate, plant) the beds didn’t really have any edging. And that meant that it was harder to decide when the grass was invading.
So this year, we took the metal that was originally planned to go around the house (which we decided we didn’t like in that role) and used it to edge one of the veg beds.
Of course we’ve done our super-lazy lasagne mulching (which is one layer of card then a ton of compost/soil). This does mean we have to weed afterwards, because the grass, unsurprisingly, survives this onslaught. But it generally only requires *some* weeding. And it means we don’t have to get an enormous amount of card. Which is handy – because that’s all the card we had left. In fact, we had to unpack our (mail order) toilet paper to get enough to do that…
Anyhow, it’s looking pretty good. We also unloaded the bed that was full of the worst soil. The stuff that turned out to effectively actually be gravel with some mud on it… That’s been piled up back around the edge of the soak-away which is meant to have a pond on top of it. There was once soil piled there, but the chickens… helped… with that.
The other quick ‘n dirty bit of garden fixing we did was to create some shelter for the chickens. A couple of weeks back we corralled them up at one end of the garden (so that we can actually grow things in the rest of the garden through the summer). They broadly seemed pretty happy with the high-quality deck we’d created to replace the our one at the back of the house (which they spent a lot of time on):
The one problem was when it was hacking with rain they used to come and shelter under the eaves of the house. That no longer being an option and them seemingly almost unwilling to enter the run during the day (except to eat), we decided to create them some shelter on their deck.
This was constructed to an extremely high standard from the finest building materials (and not at all left over random crapity bits of cedar from other projects). We definitely spent more than about 2 minutes, total, on measuring. And we certainly didn’t just throw the whole thing together.
It should give them some protection from the worst of the weather, if they choose to use it (which they obviously won’t, because they’re chickens).
In other news, the mixer doesn’t quite work as well as I’d hoped.
There are three small problems. One is that the stop-button sticks. So I’m going to have to take the front panel off, remove the “stop” button, sand the edge of the panel I cut to give it a smiiidge more clearance, and then put it back together.
Not a huge thing, but slightly bothersome.
The other thing – which may be related, is it doesn’t always seem to want to latch into ‘run’. So you have to hold the start/run button in.
And finally, the belt seems to slip sometimes.
Now, new belts are available (as are new all the bits, really). But I don’t really want to spend $45 on it until I know that the rest of it is working properly. Since it is currently behaving like too much slippage causes it to switch off I may end up replacing it anyway before I’m totally convinced it’s all working.
But first we’ll fix the ‘stop’ switch.
Of course, now there’s a much cheaper – functional – one on ebay. Buuuut, I resurrected this beastie, and I will say the tealy blue looks damn cool.
So that’s…some of the stuff :)