Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cutouts, Or the Sunken Raised Bed

In that interim between freezing and foliating, I tend to engage in a campaign of expanding cultivated area. Out comes the flat-bladed spade, and back go the grassy margins. Beds expand, the ground still wet and soft enough to dig and shake soil from grass-roots, dandelions readily separated from matrix. Then, I rake the dirt into a raised bed, which usually rises no higher than the surrounding grass, the persistent mockingly unproductive remnant. There are no wooden or masonry edges, just a low ziggurat slouching in a cutout of the lawn.

The bed is soil mixed up bottom to top so any remaining weeds lay dispersed and unrooted, easy to pluck out later. Seeds in, weeds out, so goes the next few days. The weeding continues: pluckings of non-productive obviocracy, cullings of non-crops, ferreting out of sneakerweeds. The seeds sprout and flourish. 

Sandy soil makes this easy. No clay-clung weed-root balls propagating. Easy extraction. 

My hope is that unimpeded root-foods will grow large here, that cultivars will flourish into the weed-freed spaces. We'll see...Even the weeds that may emerge are better eating than the pathetic lawn that preceded them...

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