I’ve chosen to do something different this summer.
Re-do my “forest’s pathways” and improve the soil for Fall’s planting instead of concentrating on just on summer (tropical) vegetables. Yes, I’m doing it my way.
I’ve used corrugated cardboard – old wine cartons, appliance packaging, good thick brown cardboard from recycling dumpsters – cut them open, carpeted the paths, then wait for the afternoon rain (a common occurrence in Florida).
A closer look at my handiwork …
They will look like natural forest paths in a couple of weeks and it hasn’t cost a cent! OK, they may need re-doing in a couple of years but it will give me time to re-plan and perhaps even re-design the pathways depending on the height of the in-ground trees and perennial edibles, as time passes.
Areas with slopes are covered with old burlap (once used as shade cloth) to prevent erosion. They too will breakdown and form soil.
In the meantime, acting as ground covers, sweet potatoes and bean plantings are happily growing, blocking off sun and stunting weeds. I bought 2lbs of Black Eyed Peas or Cowpeas from Walmart and instead of using them for cooking, decided to scatter them over planting areas for them to be “born again”, my form green manure.
I also took an old (rotating) compost barrel off its frame, made a 2″ hole (with a hole saw) at it’s base cover for drainage and semi-buried it. It is now my compost/food waste/worm feeding & bokashi disposal drum. In 6 months, I will check to see if my worm-pets are happy living around its base.
Ah yes, it’s still summer and there’s more to be done in the backyard to make it look as unbackyardly as possible. Afterall, it’s meant to be a food forest.