Poor Truck, Ain’t It Pitiful


Finally, today, I got the beds mulched with yummy leaf compost. This is my 4th truck load in the past two weeks. Last year we put in about 15. You can read about that here at My Keyboard has no ame and Thomas Edison

My youngest son surprised me today and helped with the first load. He was quick so I had time to go get a second load and be done with all the beds around the house. He’s so busy and I really appreciate him stopping by and lending a very strong back and arms. You rock honey!


There was just a bit left to be done on this bed today. Last weekend both boys and MrD surprised me by finishing a load I had started. It was the second load last weekend and I could not finish it. They all got up early and had it done by the time I got out of bed. So I’ve had a lot of help.

The rose bushes are all snug in a new layer too. I’ll also put down some Espoma Rose Tone soon. All the beds will get some mushroom compost and Espoma Flower and Plant Tone. Espoma is an organic product. It’s like giving your soil a good vitamin dose. It replenishes trace minerals. Espoma has a solution for your plant needs and they do it without killing the good bugs.

If you have tired soil, Espoma will do the trick to revive it. Of course, you have to put down some good leaf mulch too.  The beds get cow manure every Autumn and the shrubs get some Espoma Phosphate at that time. Phosphate helps set the buds and promote root growth. It will burn plants so follow directions carefully.


I have to move that tree don’t I–the one in the middle of the wall. It looks ridiculous. I knew better and it’s going in one of my pots. I ran out of steam last year before I got it transplanted. I hope the roots aren’t connected to China.

Alright, I am now officially organic all the way. I made a mistake several years ago and killed the good bugs with the bad. My soil was pitiful and the garden looked awful. Today, I go to the extra trouble to maintain balance naturally. It’s a pain to go out and pluck bugs, spray insecticidal soap, and remove diseased leaves. But you know, it’s worth it.

Here is an excerpt from an earlier post. I explain why mushroom compost works:

Mushroom compost grows mushroom roots called haphae. Conditions are not right in your garden to grow the actual top mushroom or cap. The underground hyphae is a rich environment for your plant roots. The hyphae creates spaces for your bedding plants roots to grow, it traps moisture and nutrients that would normally wash away, and there are certain organisms that feed off the hyphae that benefit your plants.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Shirley Bovshow says:

    Hi Anna,
    Sorry I haven’t stopped by in a while. Your truck looks like a nice one. What kind?

    It must be nice to have some helping hands at home. My kids will pitch in if I get on their case and my husband will oblige but not volunteer.

    Hope you are doing great my friend.
    I want to get back to your blog and watch the video you’ve posted! But I need some popcorn and undivided attention time. No worries about stopping by……you are always one of my favorite buds and I love ya!


  2. Monica says:

    WOW–that bed (truck and garden!) full of compost is great to see. I do my own compost but get very little… if only I had a truck!!


  3. Philip says:

    Hi Anna!
    Thanks for the informative on mushroom compost. I knew nothing of what this actually does. I love learning about this king of thing! Haphae. I love it. So interesting, isn’t it!
    You are creating such wonderful; garden conditions. I read years ago that what really makes a successful garden is the soil. I have tried to do a little every year, but I will have to check out Espoma. Ok, you have given us our marching orders. I will be amending soil this weekend!
    Nice truck…I do you should have that red one with Flower garden girl written in script on the side. You could park it next to copper top cottage!
    I have had fun looking at your blog posts I missed.
    Have a great weekend.
    All the best to you!
    I do want that red truck! MrD is very kind to lend me his truck but he’s not too fond of me hauling mulch in it. He is glad I save a lot of money by doing it myself. He’s also nervous right now cause I have loads of seeds that are going in every corner of the house if he doesn’t get Copper Top finished. He was hoping to work on it this weekend but the weather keeps rolling in on weekends and is pretty through the week. Errrrrrr! We may get a big snowstorm which is hard to believe since it’s 70 today.


  4. linda says:

    Good for you going organic Anna – better for your plants, the beneficial insects, and you!

    I’ve always gardened organically – don’t really know any other way. It’s so inspiring to see more gardeners going organic every day!

    You’re so lucky to have those big, strong men giving you a hand with the heavy work! The leaf compost looks delicious, and I’m sure your beds will love it!
    I made a commitment to myself that I’d go organic in the new gardens. Last year I had gobs of butterflies. They love the Envy Zinnias and lantana. I’m trying to plant more varieties. There aren’t many flowers in my neighborhood and I think the poor hummers and insects are starving by the time they get to my house. I’m in the Monarch flight path and that is grand to see when they all swoop in. Oh–I can’t wait.


  5. Catherine says:

    I love seeing fresh compost! It’s nice to have help, because it’s a big job! Your plants will be so happy!
    It intoxicates me. I get giddy just thinking about it. I do love my family and they must really love me to spread mulch in their off time.


  6. Jen says:

    You got good dirt, girl! In a few weeks I’m gonna need to do the same, but I don’t have a truck so it may require a few more trips. I’ll have to look for some of that Espoma. Is there a reason why the manure goes on in autumn?
    It is very good leaf compost and almost to the dirt stage. The plants are going to love it. The manure goes in Autumn because it activates and speeds decay along. I usually put fine bark chips in at the same time. Then I sprinkle the manure on top. Rake it a bit and over the winter the manure will help break the bark down in to more yummy dirt. Pretty gardens don’t come easy do they? Read up on the Espoma products online and then you won’t be so confused when you get to the store.


  7. Marnie says:

    Hi Anna, I agree with you completely. Chemical fertilizers and insecticides destroy the natural balance and cause more problems than they solve. Your beds look great. How lucky to have a source of leaf mold.
    When I see everyone piling their leaves up for the town to pick up—I just smile and say….that’s going in my garden! I try to encourage everyone to rake cause very few people go get the mulched stuff. I’m so lucky. I’ll go back and get the larger bark mulch after the flowers go in. That will help keep the moisture in the ground. We had the hottest and driest summer. I’m going to prepare extra for that this year.


  8. mothernaturesgarden says:

    What is sexy to a woman gardener?…..A man with a truck!
    And remember Donna, a tool belt too!


  9. Darla says:

    What a wonderful job! That truck looks great to me hauling that rich compost. I can hardly wait to see what you do with these beds…
    I’m going to share lots of pictures. I have over a hundred seed packets ready to be started.


  10. Phillip (UK) says:

    Looks good. Your men folk are a real treasure. But the garden will repay all this effort – and love.
    I sure hope it pays off but my experience says it’s a no brainer. If we ate that much we’d be fat too.

    I’m mesmerized by the weather right now. We just got a warning for this weekend. The only thing we aren’t having is a hurricane.


  11. nancybond says:

    I actually like the tree there, Anna — it’s not large and shouldn’t ever block your view. I sure wish we lived closer (for many reasons) — I’d LOVE to give you a hand; I can just feel that soft earth sifting through the fingers. 🙂 Looks great!
    Yes, I need a buddy who feeds my spirit and garden. That’s the best kind of bud. We would have a grand time if you were here. I’d never get you to leave the potteries though. Why don’t you come visit next Autumn and I’ll tote you around.


  12. You are really on the ball, Anna! It’s great that you’ve been getting so much done. Spring is almost here-but I think NC always starts a little earlier than VA. My mom lives in Fuquay Varina and just loves to garden. She can’t do it like she used to though but I know she enjoys getting out just the same. It’s nice of your guys to give you a hand!
    My great grandmother was a Farquhar. I’ve got a picture of her and her sisters. I was told that Fuquay was named after that family. We do get Spring earlier but can still have the same amount of frost days. We aren’t truly frost free till Mother’s Day. I usually put my stuff out way to early.


  13. Deb says:

    I think I may use Monkey power to get my beds mulched this weekend.
    I was very thankful for the help. They’ll be around to eat the goodies too.


  14. Cinj says:

    That’s a whole lot of work to get done so early in the year. What a bunch of sweeties!

    We’re getting another 6 inches of snow tonight so it’ll be a while before I can get out there to prep my new vegetable garden and get my berry patch ready for this spring.

    I’m going organic too, it’s better for our gardens, ourselves, and the environment. At least we’ve got plenty of knowledgable friends and resources out there on the internet, huh?
    We may get a lot of snow this weekend–our first. They are telling us to watch the tv minute by minute. In fact, the only weather we aren’t having is a hurricane.


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