Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fig row / bee forage seed beds. 2.18.15

When we bought the place this was all weeds, especially Johnson Grass and some very tough weeds.

I wanted to make the mowing easier, so I covered the ground between the fig tree saplings, with plastic for the winter.  That killed the grass.  Last weekend I pulled up the plastic, and raked the soil reasonably smooth for seed beds.  I scattered borage seed on the largest bed, and the others are either phacelia or crimson clover. 

This abuts a neighbor's weedfield.  The appearance isn't very important.  I want to be able to run the lawn mower up and down both sides, without the much more difficult method of mowing around each tree.

If the beds work out, next year I can make them much wider, and just have 2 mower-widths of lawn on each side

One seedbed remains.  I bought Viper's Bugloss seeds, reported as excellent bee forage.  Then I read there are toxic pyrolizidine alkaloids in Bugloss' nectar and pollen.  Probably not enough to matter, but I may plant something else - maybe Agastache.  Another choice, lemon balm - I have lots of volunteer plants I can move there, enough to fill in an entire bed.

The lawn was carpeted with white Dutch clover last year.  I don't see any now.  It may just not be ready to grow yet.  I hope it does - excellent bee forage.

The areas just adjacent to the fig trees will be mulched, with a space between mulch and trunk.  I'm thinking of using straw.

This area is almost done and ready for Spring.  About the only maintenance will be quick runs of the lawn mower.

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