The Weekly Digs #241

by Becky
Published: Updated:

Getting Compost

On Monday, Cam took the day off of work and drove to get compost. We rented a dump trailer from a local place so we could make the trip worth the time. The place we get compost from is an hour and a half away so if he takes two trips, it’s six hours of driving total!  

Unfortunately, we always have the worst luck with timing of when we get compost. I think almost every time we have gone to pick it up, it has rained for like three days straight beforehand.  So the compost was super heavy. 

On the first trip, the compost was so heavy that the truck check engine light went on, so Cam had to pull over and let the truck cool down so he could make it home. 

Thankfully he made it. Once Cam got back, we went to use the dump trailer to unload it. Another unfortunate event was this dump trailer only had the ability to lift up around 45 degrees (usually they should go almost vertical) to dump. 

So Cam and the kids worked to get the compost out by hand. This added a half hour. Then Cam went back and got a second load. The first time he got five yards of compost. So the second time he got four just to make sure that the truck didn’t overheat again.

Getting compost is not worth having to replace a truck so we are trying to figure out a different method of getting compost to our property. 

Making a place for the property to be semi truck accessible

The business where we get compost from will deliver as long as it’s a semi load. The delivery cost is not that much more than renting a trailer and driving there twice. However, the problem is that our property has a very steep incline driveway and then at the top of the incline there is a sharp turn. A semi truck could not make it and it would get stuck on the turn. 

Our driveway is entirely gravel too. We could somehow fix or move the driveway which we have thought about- but it would be cost prohibitive. Side note: we did get a couple quotes last year to pave the incline portion of our driveway and it was almost $50,000! It blew my mind how expensive that would be. 

The other alternative for getting an area of our property semi accessible utilizing 8 acres of flat land we have down at the road. It would need to add some kind of gravel put down because right now it’s just a field and there is a deep ditch from the road to the property.

That plan is more plausible and affordable. It is less expensive than having Cam takeoff an entire day of work, drive 6 hours, then almost blow up the truck engine due to weight. By the way, the load was not over the tow weight capacity of the truck but it was close.

The lower area of our property is about a half a mile from our house which is the negative part of dumping down there. We would need to move the compost closer to the garden ourselves if it was delivered down there.

Anyway, I’m glad we finally got the compost. We immediately got to work laying down in many places. The main one that we worked on this week was inside our caterpillar tunnel. 

In the Garden

The kids had started some watermelon in soil blocks and they originally intended for those to go inside their kids gardens. However, the area where their garden is going was still covered in overwintered cover crops and not ready to be planted yet. So the watermelon got a full row in the caterpillar tunnel. 

Cam’s also planting his peppers inside the caterpillar tunnel because it’s really hot in there.

We laid down a bunch of compost. Then we covered the entire area with weed paper and then on top of that we put wood chip mulch in the aisles to kind of keep down the weeds. 

I love the weed paper! It isn’t a perfect solution though. If there is ever wind, it blows the paper off and then it doesn’t work very well. We pinned it down as best we could and had the wood mulch there for a little weight.

The weed paper works a lot better when it’s actually on the surface because it doesn’t decompose so fast.

  • We got the watermelons planted and we got the peppers planted.
  • We got the onion garden bed covered with a little bit of compost.

We couldn’t put down that much compost because a few onions were rotting from the wet weather and being planted too deep.

Potatoes

Luckily, I had an entire tray of replacements that I could put in the place of some of the rotting onions so I just ripped out the old ones and I put in new ones in that spot.

Herb Garden

Earlier this week, Dax and I spent quite a bit of time planting herbs in the front little corner of the garden. We have a lot of herbs that Amy started when she came to visit and we started to put them in the ground. 

  • Oregano, sorrel, lemon balm, sage, chives, and parsley! 

I think it’s going to be really great to have a little place where all of the herbs are together. Well, for the most part they will be together.  I will plant my dill and basil in different parts of the garden.

I had to take a break from my pantry cleaning project from last week because I needed to get the garden planted ASAP once the rain stopped. 

The pantry cleaning and organizing was taking way longer than I originally anticipated. One of the other reasons that I was trying get that done was because we have little ants that are making their way into our house this year. They’re driving me crazy! 

I need to finish the deep clean of the pantry and the kitchen as soon as we get a few more rainy days. Truthfully, with kids it’s almost impossible to keep things constantly clean enough that there is nothing for the ants to eat. 

We set up some little traps for the ants and they worked great for a couple weeks. But now it seems like they’re not working very well anymore! 

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5 comments

GardenLover May 5, 2024 - 10:46 pm

So fun to read this again this week! It’s so fun reading through your garden plans and what you’re been working on!
Do you have a link for the paper?

Reply
Laurel M. May 6, 2024 - 1:01 am

Dang! Sorry about the ants! I hope you find a solution to the compost, too. That’s so important. How exciting you are starting an herb garden, I have tried to do that with my medicinals, but I don’t know how to use any of them yet. Except lemon balm, it makes a nice warm tea.

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DOE RAY May 6, 2024 - 3:05 pm

Oof ants are wily creatures…what kind of traps did you utilise? I like you try not to use pesticides and have only heard about diatomaceous earth with mixed results.

Reply
Kelly A May 14, 2024 - 6:22 pm

Hello! May I recommend Terro liquid for the ants? We had an invasion one year and this was amazing, all you need is a little drop. I tried many other things but this is the best I’ve found. It’s definitely a chemical….but all my natural remedies didn’t make a dent in their marching.

I discovered your youtube channel a few weeks ago, and I have to say I’ve spent many hours watching your videos. You’ve inspired me so much to take my tiny garden more seriously, and I am going to try to learn more about canning/preserving this summer. I share a lot of the same sentiments you mention regarding our tainted food system and uncertainty about the future, and my dream is to be living a more self reliant life like yours, if only for peace of mind. Now I just need to tame my fear of stinging insects!

From one redhead to another…thank you for your authenticity and sharing your knowledge

Reply
Becky May 15, 2024 - 8:28 pm

Thank you for the recommendation and the kind words! I will see if I can find Terro in my local store 🙂

Reply

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