Come to think of it, Hubby’s ability to shovel farm products is why I married the man. As a teen, he worked on a dairy farm shoveling the fertilizer that fell from the cows. Farm boys have the best bodies ever, and they don’t need to workout in a gym. Sigh. Anyway, I looked at his body and thought that he could get some real garden work done.
I’ve been sorely disappointed in the amount of yard work Hubby does. He hates it. I didn’t know that before we got married, because he told me he liked working with the cows. Anyway, he preferred being a tax accountant to gardening. I admit that a resident tax accountant is a handy thing to have. However, even getting him to ride the lawnmower around the lawn is a challenge.
I’m afraid Hubby has more digging coming up. I have over a thousand new bulbs to be planted this fall. He will have to dig out weeds, haul dirt and dig trenches for the bulbs. When I told Hubby about digging the trenches, he suggested that I get our road and land-clearing contractor to dig a couple nice long trenches with his big $450/hour road-building and tree eating machine. I think not. It would eat up too much of my profit to hire someone to dig trenches.
I do have some help digging in the garden. I intend to spread that apple mash over where I want to make new beds and let the earth worms work it into the soil. Earth worms are wonderful garden helpers. They are not particularly sexy or ornamental like Hubby, but unlike Hubby they get the job done without whining.
Given the arthritic condition of my body, I’ve started finding gentler ways to garden. I try to smother weeds with cardboard and paper. Paths are now big enough for the riding mower. Usually I sheet compost right on my raised beds. Including Hubby in my little garden projects saves my body from serious damage.
For example: I let Hubby shovel out the bedding from the duck pen. We put the duck-yard litter on empty beds and the compost pile this time of year. I will transplant the kale over duck yard litter. The high nitrogen content keeps the kale from freezing and discourages the nematodes that like to eat Kale roots. I’ll need to transplant the Kale, because it seeded itself in the future onion bed, instead of where I want it for winter. I let my kale reseed itself wherever it wants, which saves me a great deal of trouble.
The composting, and spreading straw, paper, and apple littler all work together to make the spring planting easier.
Hubby really is essential to the garden, because to build a new bed, I layer paper and cardboard, with duck yard bedding, spent dirt, and garden clippings into what I call a lasagna bed. I can plant directly into this mix of rotting material. Six months after I build a new lasagna bed, the earthworms and microbes have turned the waste into beautiful fluffy topsoil. Since we have arsenic in our soil, gardening above the toxic dirt is preferred and is essential for growing food items. Despite the work of the resident earthworms, I still need Hubby to haul material for the beds.