Yesterday was quite nice out and I had a trunk full of free mulch I had picked up in town, so DH and I seized the day and decided to create pathways between our lasagna beds.
First, I pulled back the black weed barrier and found a surprise guest:
Bailey was curious, but cautious:
Bailey supervised as I got ready to mow the grass around the beds as short as possible:
Next, I laid down a layer of cardboard and soaked it with a hose. Note to self: Putting down cardboard goes much faster than using newspaper! Second note to self: Since it goes so fast, it couldn't possibly hurt to put down 2 layers next time.
A thin layer of mulch goes down on both pathways. I kept the pathways fairly wide because originally I was thinking I would need to get a lawnmower in between the beds. I decided to keep them wide anyway since I'll still need to get the wheelbarrow between the rows and we certainly have plenty of space, so may as well give myself plenty of room to work.
Almost as soon as the mulch went down, I decided that it was probably a mistake. The idea behind mulching the pathways was to cut down on having to mow and try to keep the grass from encroaching on the garden beds. However, the more I thought about the mulched areas around our yard, the more I thought about all the weeding I have to do in those mulched area. Mowing grass in a narrow pathway would go WAY faster than weeding. I'm starting to think that keeping grass between the pathways would actually be the lower-maintenance option.
Instead of immediately ripping it all out, I decided to leave it for now. We'll build 2 more beds this season and leave the grass in place - this way we can have it both ways and see which way ends up being less work. Having it both ways will certainly bother the anal part of me that likes things to be just so, but it will be a useful learning exercise, so I'll try my best to overlook it.
I dug a trench around the remaining borders of the beds to discourage the grass from trying to take over the beds:
Next project - hopefully to be completed next weekend as long as the weather holds out - a fence to keep out the bunnies. But so far this week is looking rainy and cold, so who knows when we'll get out there again............