Getting ready for the Great Milwaukee Garden Blitz of 2009

My home garden bed is coming right along in preparation for the Blitz that will be happening next week Saturday. Using some tools loaned by very generous neighbors, I’ve gotten the dandelion population largely under control, at least in the garden bed. And today, I reunited with an old compatriat to haul a very large amount of lumber down here. On Blitz Day, we’ll be using the lumber to make raised planting beds. (It just occurred to me that we’ll need chicken wire or something similar to keep burrowing critters out. To do next week…)

Having been doing minor things such moving and writing my senior thesis during the past few weeks, I had neither the time nor the energy to devote to preparing the garden area. Here’s what it looked like in April of 2009:

Haasgarten April 09

(If you were wondering, that is not our trailer. It belongs to the previous residents and is no longer here.)

So, time passed, the weather warmed a slight bit, just enough for plants to grow, and here’s how it looked shortly after we started moving in:

May 2009

This is what I got for not putting down a huge tarp! Plants of all sorts, welcome and unwelcome, deliberate and intrusive, all springing to life. A picture from a week later would show lots of yellow dandelion flowers standing high across the yard. (Creeping charlie makes up most of the rest of it.) As I said, using the tools loaned to me by very generous neighbors, I’ve reduced much of the dandelion population.

As eager as I once was to renew my War on Creeping Charlie, which had been inspired by the federal government’s great overwhelming successes in the wars on poverty, drugs, and terra terror, I’m going to let it go for now. We’ll be manually levelling the surface and then putting in homemade raised beds, and I’ll have the open areas covered in mulch after that. And we need to have the overhanging tree limbs greatly shortened, as it’s already blocking a lot of light.

We’ll definitely need help on Saturday the 23rd. If you can lend a hand, no matter how little effort you think you can muster, I’d be much obliged. Get in touch with Gretchen from VGI if you want to help! And thanks in advance.

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.