Summer is over and it's time to get the outside ready for winter! In this episode we're spilling the beans about all the things we've been doing in our yard and garden to take advantage of the nice autumn weather before the Oregon rain sets in. Plus what we hope to get done in the next few months and the things every homeowner should think about to winterize. Speaking of lousy weather, you'll also find a seven day meal plan to make you feel warm inside - just copy the mains and side ideas and your menu is done. And of course we both share some recent discoveries that we think are really cool.
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Fall Yard & Garden Plans
The gophers are finally under control and we can take care of the lawn! We will be grading some and then seeding.
Here's the podcast episode where we talked about the devastation the gophers had created and what we'd been trying up to that point.
Here's where you can find what we tried to control the gophers, as well as the one that's been working consistently!
After working for more than a year to clear this weed infested mound down to grass level the random brick wall holding the dirt/sand/weeds came down! (I think it was an attempt to rot out a large stump, but it was way more work than just getting rid of the stump...and they dumped a full load of sand on it!)
I shared a short video on an Instagram story that you can see here, though you will need to be signed in to Instagram to see it. It was SO great to see that come down - I've been waiting a year and a half for that, seeing it everyday as it taunted me, lol.
Above is what the area looks like now. I added a few plants to the bed and the rest was raked and reseeded. Some of the grass has just started to sprout!
We mentioned a couple other areas that we had been wanting to clean up and you can see those above. Both of these are visible from the manufactured home - the area on the left is up against the barn/shop and the area on the right was revealed after we harvested the composite decking boards to build our raised beds.
Hopefully the grass will grow quickly in these areas!
The rectangle on the left had been an area outlined with large railroad ties (that had rotted like they eventually will...) with a few plants against the barn and then the rest was a layer of landscape fabric and round river rocks that ironically grew lots of weeds. Not only was it random and very unnatural looking, it was an eyesore with the rotting ties and weed-filled rocks.
I talked about how terrible it is to have to deal with old landscape fabric in the episode. I've had it in both our last house and now this one and I'm now on a mission to make sure no one uses it! At least if they live in any type of climate like ours - wet and moist with lots of weeds.
This is the photo I promised of what landscape fabric/weed barrier will look like after only a few years:
Yep, there are just a few weeds under the fabric (perennial weeds like dandelions, now impossible to remove because of the fabric), but the fabric itself is host to all the grass and annual weeds you see above. Their roots live in the fabric, so there is no getting them out without removing the fabric.
Which, as you can see, I did.
Also, notice how compacted the soil is underneath? There is no way to build the soil to support the plants that were there when it's covered in fabric.
What can you use instead? I have two you will like a lot better:
- For planting beds: Cardboard or Newspaper and Mulch (it's a beautiful thing...).
- For areas you want to keep weeds out but not plant (like gravel patios): 6ml black plastic.
We used the plastic under the gravel patio and paths in our last home's backyard redo and while weeds would sprout in the spring, they were always easy to pull since there was no way for the roots to get a foothold on the plastic.
So don't waste your money on landscape fabric - it will come back to haunt you (or who you sell your home to)!
The Vegetable Garden
You can see the outlines of the final two beds we're laying out side the fence of the vegetable garden above. Now that those are laid, we can run the remaining DIY PVC pipe watering system to these beds and the metal beds you see just inside the fence.
Before next spring, I hope to have all the weedy gravel covered with cardboard and wood chips!
The Sunken Garden
The area above was created when we had to excavate the yard to accommodate the farmhouse's new foundation. Sure looks lovely, huh? Just think how dramatic the after will look one day, lol.
We hope to use more of our plentiful rocks to lay out 4 beds and a pathway, but time is running out on us, so we'll see when we actually get this done.
General Tasks We All Can Do
Here are the links to the gardening chore lists for fall with ideas of things you can be doing to get your yards and gardens ready for the winter:
7 Day Easy Fall Menu Idea
Monday - Black Bean and Sausage Soup Recipe (Slow Cook or Instant Pot), chips or tortillas
Tuesday - Make leftover Haystacks: layer corn chips (preferably Trader Joe's Fritos knockoffs - my favorite) on a plate and top with leftover black bean and sausage soup (use a slotted spoon to drain or add some tomato paste to thicken while reheating), and top with choices of salsa, cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole.
Friday - Greek Salmon and Vegetable Frittata with Creamy Feta Sauce (OR use leftover chicken cut up instead of the salmon), green salad or slaw
Saturday - Burgers, fries/chips, cut up vegetables
Sunday - OYO/Leftovers
This is Really Cool!
Brian's - EyeBuyDirect.com for inexpensive, but really nice prescription glasses with great customer service. Save literally $100 or more!
Jami's - The Gown, Jennifer Robson. Historical fiction with a great background and real details that the author was able to put into the book along with a really compelling fiction storyline. I was surprised how much I liked this book about the making of a gown.
Here's that link to author's article in TIME where she writes about her research and how she was able to find out the details she added to the book.
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