My Backyard: Autumn Preparations

Summer is over and it is now definitely Autumn. Things have been busy here, what with the usual life tasks, a bout or two of sickness amongst the younger members of the household, plus also getting on with some pre-winter preparations in and around the house and garden.

I have been busy re-thinking the garden and putting into place some re-organizing there. Plus, I have also been working on some indoor home-making projects - namely painting furniture!

All this, has occurred around the usual typical daily domestic life comings and goings, doing school drop-offs and pick-ups, getting errands done, organizing occasional visits to the doctor with unwell little ones......... plus keeping the laundry pile from becoming too much like an unmanageable mountain again and again.

It is great to feel inspired, even somewhat energized by the transformations taking place both in and around our home. It is both energizing and tiring, if you can possible understand that strange mix!

It is exciting to see the changes as they are occurring and it keeps the motivation going. Yet at times, sitting down to rest and read a book ends up simply becoming a spontaneous nap session, due to tiredness creeping up to take over.

Hauling buckets of horse manure and mulch around the various garden beds.... plus sanding down surfaces and brushing on layers of paint as parcel and parcel of transforming some indoor household furniture (which could be written about in another whole blog post........) seems to all occasionally get the better of one's mortal bones and flesh. Oh, the joys of home-making!

Still, it is all part and parcel of making a home, isn't it? Who would have thought a supply of horse manure from a farmer friend could have become such an appreciated contribution to sorting out the backyard garden.

Who would have thought that layers of paint being stripped back via sandpaper could cause such gleeful excitement, as part of trying to shabby chic some pre-loved furniture.

Oh, the joys of making and creating a home and garden!

A local farming friend who has a number of horses kindly let me visit to get horse manure for the garden. On her own property she has created this fantastic composting heap of manure, which was just so easy to access and therefore easily able to be bucketed up to collect to take home. 

Digging down, it was soon very obvious that it had already started to do all the lovely composting things that such piles do. So it was all just right and ready, to put to use in the garden with the mulch we ourselves have been busily preparing.

Having been re-thinking ways of working in and around what I fondly call 'Our Backyard Farm', I recently came across online a free to view gardening documentary, via the following link: which I found very interesting.

Keeping on top of the maintenance of a garden can at times, seem quite overwhelming. As much as I want to provide our household with the best possible natural food options (by growing our own via our backyard garden), finding the time and energy to do so, around everything else, can at times be a struggle. 

I personally found the ideas mentioned in the documentary (about gardening with no tilling of the soil and very little interference to the natural cycles of sowing, planting and harvesting, other than occasionally composting and mulching) very interesting and inspiring.

Having watched the documentary I have been inspired to focus more on simply feeding the soil and keeping it covered via mulching here at our place. 

Having now experienced two very dry summers, we ourselves have seen first-hand how incredibly important mulch application is. Keeping the soil covered certainly does make a difference with regard to assisting ground water retention. 

When you are subject to water restrictions, you become very conscience of just how you are managing your use of water. Coming up with alternative means to still try and achieve your much hoped for harvest outcomes, becomes something of a significant concern.

Whilst others are baulking at growing anything in their own backyards lately, due to local drought conditions, I have been planting out copious lettuce seedlings, willing to trial this Back to Eden method in actuality. To date, I have lost very few seedlings; so long may it last. 

One of the garden beds I first set up with a substantial layering of mulch, (actually before I saw the documentary) has managed to ride out the worst of the heat in February. 

I created something of a shade-cloth out of an old sheet and suspended it over several stakes for some time during the worst of the heat also. 

Having recently added another layer of mulch to this particular garden bed, it was easy to see growth  occurring in response to that initial application of mulch applied early in the summer season. 

It would appear the investment in purchasing our very own electric mulcher was indeed proving to be one worth doing!

So it has been rather a busy Autumn season here, to date. We have also unfortunately had a bout of sickness also, with conjunctivitis, tonsillitis and something of a bronchitis infection plaguing the younger members of our household. 

Hopefully getting some good old fashioned Autumn crops sown, will help fend off the worst of any further illness. We have certainly already had quite enough lurking colder season infections turning up in our household already. 

May you also enjoy taking time to prepare your Autumn garden over the next little while. Enjoy.

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