Mulching (and a Syrup Update)

I couldn’t help myself today. Temperatures dropped back below freezing, but I just had to do some work in the garden. Last year we had immense trouble with weeds coming up in the walkways between our raised beds. Once we put up our rabbit fence, it became impossible to mow in the garden. This year, we’ve decided to mulch around the beds to keep the weeds at bay.

Last summer, we had some large black locusts removed after they were damaged by a windstorm. We asked the workers to leave us the chippings, and they dumped a truckload in the back of our yard. Now, I’m using them for mulch. I also found a roll of industrial paper that I’m placing underneath the mulch. I don’t know how old it is but we found it in the loft of our barn, and decided this was the best way to reuse it.


I rolled out a length and cut it, and positioned it between two of the beds to start. The width was perfect, as it seals nicely with the edges of the beds to keep weeds from growing through. Once I laid it out, I started heaping on mulch.

2-First Piece

I figure it will settle over time, so I piled it on pretty deep for now. Here is where I started having trouble, because the mulch pile was still frozen. I found that once I got through the surface layer, decomposition had kept the pile thawed enough for me to work with.  Here you can see the mulch pile in the background, as well as my second sheet of paper.

3-Second Piece

I soon decided it was best to lay out large amounts of paper, as I found that I couldn’t overlap pieces once I had piled on mulch. So, I estimated how much mulching I could do in one day and laid out all of that paper. Bricks helped keep it in place because it was quite windy.

5-More Paper Placed

I decided not to mulch to the very edge of the paper for now, because I wasn’t sure where the fence was going to end up this year. I’ll measure the perimeter with a string before I put in that much more work. Once the mulch is in place, I might try to border or edge it with something, but I haven’t figured that out yet. Comment with suggestions if you want!6-Mulched

Once all of the mulch had been placed, it actually looked pretty nice. I’ll keep working on it for the next few days, and I’ll keep you posted on the process.

In other news, my neighbor Laurie put up her maple taps yesterday. She bought the traditional equipment, so I wanted to share these pictures with you as well.



~The Homesteading Hippy

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