Once the chicken run was fixed, I got into my next chore: tilling up what had been the garlic bed, and getting it ready for some carrots and turnips. We're very much beginners when it comes to crop rotation, but most of the sources I've read say that root crops are a good follow-up to alliums. Which is handy, because it has become clear that all of the carrots that are currently ready for eating will be eaten fresh, with none or few left over to store for late fall and winter. If we plant a load of carrots this weekend, they should be ready just in time to go into cold storage in October.
The garlic bed was very dry and chunky from having not been tilled since last Halloween. I tilled through it once with the turning fork, breaking apart as many of the dry clods as I could. Then I added a bunch of delicious black compost (packed with red worms) from one of the compost heaps.
Check out the passionflower vine all over the fence- and growing up into the cedars! It goes up about twelve feet so far- and it was almost nothing when we moved in, because we got no light. I can't wait for it to flower.
Mixed into the bed, you can see the remaining bits of the shredded newspaper that was the first layer of mulch on the garlic last fall.
With the bed tilled up, I opened up the bucket of comfrey tea that I have had stewing for the last couple weeks. We've never used it before, but have a massive comfrey bush in our community garden plot that needs constant cutting back, so we decided to put some of it to use as fertilizer.
I had been warned about the stench, but it still almost knocked me over. Hopefully it will be worth it! I diluted it and watered the garlic/carrot bed with it, as well as all of the cabbage and broccoli plants and a few tomato plants that are looking a bit scrawny. I'll let the freshly tilled bed sit for a few days before I till it again and plant the root crops.
It was a beautiful day yesterday, and the backyard was bright and happy with the laundry hung out. Matt had hung it up in the morning, and I brought it in at night.
I did some weeding around the garden, stirred the compost piles, and harvested greens, a sweet pepper, and some peas to go with supper. Inside, I washed the dishes and cut up a rabbit for baking, while listing to This American Life. It feels so good to know that I don't have to go anywhere for several weeks, after lots of weekends away from home.