Reclaiming the yard for my veggie garden!
Background: We have a fraction over 2 acres. About one acre is lawn, house, and driveway. Across the back yard is a steep slope leading down to the river bottom, which is the other acre--part wooded slope, part river bottom.
The place where the lawn gives over to woods has been sorely neglected. There was once a veggie garden on the last 20' or so before the slope, and the woods were kept open, with a couple of fruit trees. The previous owners stopped gardening there 10 or 20 years ago. They stopped trimming at all probably 4 or 5 years before we moved in. So we had lawn backing up to a thicket of various woodland edge trees and overgrown with grapes that had gotten out of control and spiked with rebar stakes and rusty tomato cages.
We tried to just maintain the lawn, but it went crazy. We had a line of 20' tall tulip poplar, box elder, dying peaches, and willow oaks, smothered in a mixture of grapevine (I think NOT native), honeysuckle (invasive), rugosa rose (invasive), native brambles (VICIOUS!!! thorns), and poison ivy.
So, I'm cleaning it out. In 3 days, working from 1 to 5 hours a day, I've taken down about 8 trees and innumerable vines. I've cleaned out a 30' x 20' section of the back and have accrued a 20'x6'x10' solid pile of trees, brush, and vines.
So far, only the tulip poplars have given me a rash! Contact dermatitis.
I have about 20' left to go and one day to finish it in. We'll see how far I get.
Saturday's job? Processing the trees and brush--lengths of softwood for oyster mushrooms, hardwood for shiitakes, small branches and leaves to be chipped for mulch, peach trees readied to be made into hardwood chips for smoking meat, and lengths of grapevine set aside for grapevine balls and wreaths.
If I can get just the first three done, I'll be thrilled.