Cleaning the garden beds


Once we had the edging installed we knew exactly what the garden’s boundaries were and proceeded to the next step: cleaning out the weeds and bermuda grass. These beds needed a DEEP cleaning – there were loads of unwanted plants growing there and of course with the plants came roots. Also, because we neglected the front beds for two years, the Bermuda grass had basically taken over the beds so we need to be diligent about removing as much as possible. Una vez instalado el borde, sabíamos exactamente los margenes del jardin así que procedimos al proximo paso: limpiar las jardineras de malezas y pasto bermuda. Estas jardineras necesitaban una limpieza profunda – habían un montón de plantas que no queríamos y con plantas vinieron raíces.  Tambien como no habíamos prestado atención a las jardineras en un par de anos el pasto estaba por todos lados así que tuvimos que ser muy meticulosos para sacar la mayor cantidad posible.


this, friends, is what we here at the LRL mansion call a neglected bed – nightmarish!

Along with cleaning we also wanted to loosen up the soil. Some areas were heavily compacted and needed to be tilled so we killed two birds with one stone in the form of a pickaxe (but…no birds were hurt in the execution of this plan). First, we started cleaning the area where I removed all the bushes a few weeks ago. Leslie grabbed a pickaxe and turned on “beast mode” to tackle the roots and dirt in the beds. I am telling you, you don’t want to mess with Leslie when she has her hand on a pickaxe – SHE IS DANGEROUS! She did a fantastic job getting a ton of roots out and evicting every little piece of Bermuda grass. It took us a couple of days to complete the first bed, but we learned that going at it without a pattern resulted in more work for us because the piles of freshly-dug dirt made it hard to find the areas that we hadn’t tilled yet. So for the next bed we came up with a better game plan. Junto con limpiar todo, también queríamos soltar el suelo. Algunas áreas estaban muy compactadas y el suelo necesitaba soltarse así que matamos dos pájaros de un tiro usando una pica (pero…ningún pájaro fue herido en la ejecución de este plan). Primero, comenzamos limpiando el área cuando removimos los matorrales un par de semanas atrás. Leslie tomo la pica y se convirtió en una bestia, arrancando raíces y tierra de las jardineras. Les digo, no quieren meterse con Leslie cuando tiene en sus manos una pica – ES PELIGROSA! Hizo un trabajo fantástico sacando raíces y expulsando al paso bermuda. Nos demoramos un par de días en terminar la primera jardinera, pero aprendimos que no tener un plan y no seguir una linea determinada era mas trabajo para nosotros porque nos perdíamos y no sabíamos que partes necesitaban ser limpiadas porque la tierra las cubría. Así que para la próxima jardinera creamos un mejor plan de ataque.


beast mode! ^^20130131-103019.jpg

before and after – the first bed. SO MUCH BETTER!

Using the edger, I made rows which helped us stay organized so we could see each little strip of land that we had already uprooted. It also made the work with the pickaxe a little easier because the edger uprooted most of the grass. With the rows done, we simply lifted the pieces with the pickaxe, shook up the dirt, and threw away the unwanted vegetation. This second bed was chock-full of very old bulbs that the previous owner planted probably a good 10 years ago at least. So, once again, we needed to make sure to remove everything. We felt really bad removing these bulbs – they were so big and the plants were quite beautiful last year when they grew in the spring. But…we have a plan and we are sticking to it. The hydrangeas will cover this area in the future and everything will look fantastic. Usando un orillador, creamos franjas que nos ayudaron a mantenernos organizados ya que nos dejaba ver cada pedazo de tierra que no habíamos tocado. También hizo el trabajo con la pica mas fácil porque el orillador soltaba las raíces de la mayoría de las plantas. Con las franjas marcadas, simplemente levantamos las piezas de pasto con la pica, agitamos la tierra para soltarla, y botamos la vegetación. Esta segunda jardinera estaba llena de bulbos de flores que el dueño anterior probablemente planto hace como 10 anos. Así que una vez mas teníamos que asegurarnos de remover todo. Nos sentimos mal sacando los bulbos – eran tan grandes y las platas eran linda el ano pasado cuando salieron en la primavera. Pero tenemos un plan y lo vamos a seguir. Las hydrangeas cubrirán este lugar y todo se vera fantástico. 

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^^^ strips of sod / weeds came out so much easier after using the edger!20130131-102900.jpg

We are about half way done with the clean up. The progress is really slow, but it already looks so much better even without any plants! Once everything is clean we will add new soil and wait for the little plants to start arriving. We can’t wait! Estamos ya a casi la mitad de la limpieza. El progreso es lento, pero ya se ve mucho mejor aun sin plantas! Una vez que todo este limpio vamos a agregar tierra y fertilizante mientras esperamos que las plantas lleguen. No tenemos paciencia para esperar! 

7 responses to “Cleaning the garden beds”

  1. Wow! This looks like so much hard work, but the end result was totally worth it. The beds look so fantastic already. I can’t wait to see pictures of the new plants growing in there. And, now, I’m wondering if I can talk you guys into coming to my house with your pickaxe and turning “beast mode” on with my sadly overgrown beds. 🙂

    • Hahaha we hope the result turns out the way we imagine it. The more work we put in now, the less weeding we will have to do later. We are pretty sure that by the end of this project the pickaxe will be placed in the basement for a loooooong time. You should turn on you “beast mode” switch and take care of those beds!

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