From a pathetic strawberry patch to a glorious heather haven…
Once upon a time I had a dream that this area would be our strawberry patch.
We planted the first strawberries here a few years ago. They got off to a slow start because the deer kept eating them. The following 2 years we did get a few red berries, but the deer & chickens got to most of them before we did. The deer kept the plants trimmed down so they barely produced runners & our strawberry patch never grew. Last year, for some silly reason, I decided to add lots of new strawberry plants. I planted a variety of types. The chickens weren’t allowed to free range as much as they had in previous years, so I thought the strawberries would do better. Nope. This year you would never know I planted so many plants just last year.
So, I’m giving up on this being our strawberry patch. I dug up the few plants that survived and will plant them in a fenced area.
There are easier methods to clearing this weedy area, but I chose the back breaking method of digging, raking & hoeing. I dug out the largest weeds. Then used the stirrup hoe to slice off the rest of the weeds.
Then I raked the clumps into a pile.
Then dug & hoed again.
And raked again.
Until finally it looked like this.
Amazingly as I was digging, hoeing & raking this area was much larger than it appears in this photo.
The pile of weeds & dirt was huge. I gave some to the chickens & the rest went in the compost pile.
By the time I started planting the heather it was dark. But, I planted them anyway. I was pleasantly surprised when I got up in the morning & saw I did an alright job planting in the dark.
To bark dust all our flowerbeds is an enormous task that I am not ready to take on. But, we did get a truck full of bark dust to lay in the new Heather Haven. I’m hoping this will keep at least some of the weeds from coming back.
I love it. Ok, I love the image I have in my head of the heather spreading & filling the entire area with its purple goodness.
A pretty spring showing. I’m curious to see what it will look like throughout the rest of the year.
Bees & hummingbirds are lovin’ the heather, too.
It was a lot of work, but hopefully will be worth it. The deer don’t seem to bother our other heather plants, so I’m hopeful that they won’t bother these ones either.