Had to do some chop and dropping today, so I thought I'd grab a BB at the same time...
This area had buckwheat that was maturing. I let it stay for a good long time (couple months?) so that it could shade the soil and blossom for the pollinators (they adored it and were always buzzing around... many different types). There's also a ton of Hopi Red Amaranth growing around. I've let that grow too, to act as shade, stabilize the soil, help in the drought, to eat leaves off of, and to play around using the florets for dye purposes. But time for some of this to come down and mulch the soil.
In the main area, I chopped the buckwheat and the amaranth with a knife and laid them down. I also brought in extra amaranth from another area of the garden. I laid the downed plants to build amazing soil, and surrounded a few plants--a few tomato plants, a row of soybeans in front of the tomatoes, and a volunteer cuke.
The main area I mulched was around the 50 sq. feet, but to be on the safe side, I mulched the extra area to make sure it was enough in total.
Pic 1. Main area before
2. Tomato and soybean area before
3. Main area after (tomato and cuke to right side of plot)
4. Tomato and soybean area after, with amaranth mulch in front
(Note--the bare soil garden in the background is my neighbour's!)
I want to smother the grass on this strip of earth behind the house so it doesn't have to be mowed to comply with bylaws. I mulched it with a mixture of grass, leaves and small tree branches that I hand-pulled or cut with large scissors elsewhere around the house. For longer term coverage and fertilizer, I transplanted some comfrey from the other fence line. The house on that side is being demolished and it needs re-grading so I may have saved the comfrey plant!
The space covered is 3.5 ft by 16 feet (56 square feet).
Earlier this week, while giving urine to growies, I discovered that a large branch (of the curly willow tree) had broken and was trapping debris on the roof of the house. So I decided to climb on the roof and trim the tree - but what to do with all that lovely material? Well, I am going to make a willow basket but that will take barely any. I know, chop and drop! Yeah. This area is easily ignored (being difficult to get to) so the eastern neighbor's ivy and groundcover plants tend to take over. The area is 27-ft wide along the house and 9-ft deep along the fence on the south side.
I covered an area 6-ft wide by about 9-ft deep - 54 sf.
So, while looking for great willow branches for the basket, I also sorted the material into "wood" and "twig" material. The larger branches and the "wood" material went down first to help compact the weeds (plants that I don't want) then the smaller and leafy "twig" material. Since my neighbor's fig tree had some branches that needed trimming too, I added them to the chop and drop project. Between the willow and fig, I covered about 52 square feet of this back area and I am looking for more ways to deter the ivy (which tries to grow up the walls of my home).
For perspective: Initially, I was standing at the southeast corner of the house on the 3-ft tall retaining wall next to a fence that my neighbor put on top of the retaining wall leaving only a 2-ft wide access to this back section. In the fourth photo, I am several feet from the northeast corner of the house.
Co-Steward of a Natural Burial Cemetery in south-central Washington State
It's hard to tell how big the area is in the pictures. Could you draw lines on the areas if they are fully shown in those pictures or back up to get the whole area in one shot?
Having a "before" picture is a requirement for this BB. But the first picture is near the start of the process so I'll approve it. Thanks for the tape measure pic!