Tuesday, April 28, 2015

First Things First

With eight huge white oak trees and three hickory trees in our yard and a house that stood empty for over a year there were plenty of leaves when we moved in. Since it was winter we just ignored them! Bet the neighbors appreciated that. Come spring the first order of business was to get all those leaves up. This area is notorious for shallow top soil so all these leaves are in temporary wire compost rings all over the property. The large black bags are also full of leaves that will go into my garden raised beds. I keep adding my coffee grounds and kitchen scraps to the piles as well.

It's hard to garden without topsoil so composting will be a regular chore for many  years to come just like at the old place. It takes years to build soil and it is an ongoing endeavor. Luckily there are rabbit and horse farmers around and I see horse manure available regularly. This area is really big on horses. Horse manure will be a last resort because of the weeds though. We have already purchased some rabbit manure until we can get a start on our own. We are also hoping to keep a small flock of backyard chickens for eggs so that will help some with compost material also. Eventually we will build a permanent compost bin but for now these rings will suffice. And this fall will bring on another batch of leaves that we are hoping to be more prepared for.

This picture is not very clear but we have discovered that we also have a large patch of English Ivy that will need to be gotten rid of.

Anyone out there have success eradicating it and want to share their success with me? I know that it is extremely invasive and can damage your house with it's tendrils. Doesn't look like it minds that shallow top soil at all.

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. Glad to see much progress. It will seem easier once you get the "bones" in place.

    I stupidly thought ivy was a good thing. I mowed it repeatedly til it died...but at first it seems to like it!

  2. I've been battling ivy at my house for a couple years now. The only way I am having luck is by pulling it up by hand. Not an easy process! But I don't have any growth where I managed to pull it all up last year. Good luck!

  3. If you aren't worried about killing other plants or grass, I think I would try repeated sprayings with the vinegar and Epson salt and dawn dish soap recipe. It's a cheap way to start.

  4. I had some left over poison ivy spray, and it took out the ivy with one try. I wouldn't use it anywhere but in the yard, but for this one time, it was great. I haven't had any luck with vinegar and epson salt.

  5. CQ,

    I've heard that white vinegar sprayed directly on the Ivy will help kill it off and the root (it will take about a week or so). The only problem with this, you don't want to spray the vinegar on or near plants you want to keep. Another suggestion, my friends rented a front end loader and dug out all of their Ivy (root and all), and now they don't have this issue.


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