Will I actually plant next spring or just start mowing?
I am sitting here the "days after" and wondering where all these muscles that are aching came from but each time I look at the end results I get a warm glow of accomplishment. This is what the main garden looked like before the freeze and frosts that came through. The native plants (weeds to most folk) and the Long Island Cheese pumpkins/squash had taken over
After the plants had died back there were vines, tomato cages and fencing laid down to stop the dogs from digging so I could not get in there with a bush-hog. Instead I had to hand cut/pull the dead plants away from the wire. A few hours, several cuts and sore back later, I had a metal-free garden, but there were still carpeted walkways that had roots tying them to the ground. They were as tough as the wire weaved in the weeds.
Finally I got to look at how I wanted to attack the second half of the project. Do I bush-hog or till? Neither. I had a box-blade on the tractor so I decided to use that to scrape the majority of the weeds off and push them into a pile. That worked well and since I ran out of daylight and energy, I was sorely tempted to let it go until Spring. After all, I may lose the bug before then.
But the next day was warm, I could still get the tractor started and though overcast, the fever was still there, so ...... I wrestled the tiller on to the tractor and off I went. Driving a tractor is not necessarily tiring, but as those of you who have worked one, there are other things to do to complete your task so by the time daylight was gone again, I was ready to stop.
The finished results was half of what I used to run but larger than the original garden was so I am still being ambitious. The top arrow shows the top garden that has been retired. The second arrow tot he right is where there are some "tire" gardens that will probably continue to be used and the third arrow shows a hugelkultur bed that was made three years ago and is now composted down with nice rich soil. The bed next to it was an example of me getting carried away. I may throw some beneficial wildflowers in there, but probably nothing more. Unless I go to another seed swap this coming Spring