kfedup asked:thanks for the input. So I do a lot of lasagna gardening, but this area I want to start new is very large. Has to be fenced (rabbits/groundhogs) and I intend to do 6 beds 4x10 with paths between. If I can till it I can sheet mulch with sections of hay bales and plant right away--I think. Does that sound reasonable? I don't have enough materials to do the requisite 18-24" high layers otherwise and trying to find them around town is beyond my energy level right now. Have tried the homemade spray on the bugs to no avail. Not sure if I'm just catching them at wrong part of their cycle...whole neighborhood is infested with them tho, so if I get rid of them, they'll just move back in I assume. I know I need to work on my soil fertility so am doing some cover crops on the non-lasagna beds.... so much imbalance. so much to do. so little time. I had better results in my 1/4 acre market garden before we moved to the city. I just want gardening to feel good again. I'm sure it's partly my inner processes...my attitude needs adjusting.
- Fencing for rabbits is specialised and intensive. I recommend an L shaped barrier of 6*6 inches of chicken wire staked in at ground level along the length of the fenced area. I also highly recommend considering getting a solar panel powered electric fence kit and running the hot wire three inches above and an inch away from the L corner.
- Sheet mulching is a good idea. But you don’t need to till the soil. Instead, maybe place an inch thick layer of compost material down prior to a lucerne or clover hay bale sheeting and plant directly that way. Seeds will take immediately in the mulch and find the compost material a strengthening booster soon thereafter while anything lying in the underlying soil will struggle to have enough energy to push it’s way through an additional two inches of material, thus effectively “starving out” the existing weeds of their much needed solar input.
- The home-made sprays are all deficient in one primary area: they are contact sprays. They do not work after 24 hours and do not work on eggs. Unfortunately, it seems the only way to really deal with the beetles is in hand to hand combat. However, it may be worth investigating what their favourite plant is and creating a ”canon fodder” border planting as a means of sacrificing a small portion of land for the greater good?
- If you need to step back and take a breather, then why not take a season off and grow a green manure crop on the beds that need conditioning? Literally throw out a bunch of seeds from fast growing annuals like clovers, cowpeas, wild brassicas, etc - then just as they begin flowering, mow them down and let them compost in situ for 6 weeks and wallah! new soil and a fresh start :)
- As for the attitude - I understand the stress. I really do. You need to give yourself permission to feel ok about feeling crap about it for now. I also think you need something new to re-invigorate the soil beds of your passion. Maybe go out and find something that you’ve never tried or for a real challenge: an idea that you “poo-poo’d” in the past. Set aside one section or a bed in the pursuit of that endeavour. Might give you a new view to your garden?
Finally, there’s always someone to lend you a hand, shoulder or ear. So, feel free to use them :)
You’ll be ok, you’ll see.