Monday, March 11, 2013

RAISED GARDEN BEDS, STEP THREE

Well, it was a very productive weekend.  First of all, we have HOT WATER!  For the first time in a year, yay!  We got some other projects done as well, yay!  A friend came by who is going to help us with some sewing projects, yay!  And of course once again, I stirred up the nosey cattle.  Not so yay for them, ha.




So here is the biggest part of the weekend.  About noon on Saturday, a truck delivered 5 cubic yards of soil.  "Where do you want it?" the driver asked.  I pointed and said "right here" and he pushed a button, the back end lifted up and out it all came, landing right where I wanted it. 



Here it is after I signed the piece of paper the driver gave me and he drove off, leaving us all alone with our giant mound of soil.  I can say, walking up to it can be intimidating when you first see it.  It's a lot of work but we were ready.

Here is the little wheelbarrow that could.  This was borrowed as ours "broke down" last weekend while I was moving bricks.  It was left behind by "Ma" when she moved and didn't have much life left anyway.

We'll have to buy our own but wow, I can't imagine doing it without one, that's for sure.






This is literally about halfway through it.  2nd Man and I would take turns shoveling soil into the wheelbarrow, then I would wheel it over to each bed and dump it in then we'd spread it out. It made things go much faster with two of us loading it.




No lonely and empty beds anymore!  They are now filled with soil and looking neat and tidy and ready to go.  This is a mixture that is created especially for raised beds.  It was $22/yard plus delivery.  Really, it was a great deal and much easier to get out there instead of trying to do it ourselves with bags that we'd have to mix together.

Step One is here

Step Two is here




I'm guessing I should enjoy this moment though because I'm pretty sure that this is probably the neatest and cleanest and most organized they will ever be, right?

So much potential!  I've been planning the plantings, and have some seedlings growing but dang if I don't want to try to grow it all!  How do you reign it back in and stay grounded in reality?  I am thinking of using the Square Foot method, but then again, I could just plant in raised beds with whatever I think would work?   








2nd Family's dog, "Blue", stopped by to see what was going on.

Our raised beds are now
Blue tested, Blue approved!

35 comments:

  1. Shoot, wish I'd seen these posts sooner! I would have recommended that you put down a layer of hardware cloth or wire mesh in the bottoms of the beds. It keeps burrowing animals like moles from digging up into your planting beds from underneath. Oh well. I would start out with the square foot method if you aren't very experienced with gardening, it helps you get a feel for spacing. Later, when you get used to it you can kind of throw out the parts you don't like of the method, but it helps when you're just starting out. Good luck! I can't wait to see it in midsummer.

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    1. Shoot I didn't do that for mine either! I haven't noticed any issues...yet. Well except for the rabbits jumping up into the beds to eat the lettuce and carrots.

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    2. I hadn't thought about that. It makes sense. Oh well, we'll see how it goes. Yes, I figure some combination later on of square foot and my own thing might be a good method. Thanks for the good wishes! And Tonya, we have rabbits too, I'm going to put some mesh netting over them. We'll see how it all works out..

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  2. My...how tidy. It makes me embarrassed for my own raised beds, all willy nilly and out of control. lol

    You are going to have so much fun this summer...and I still don't know how to reign it in. The Irishman just sighs and gets busy when I say "I think we are going to need another bed over HERE..." tee hee (I think we have 9 beds now)...

    The very firat year I made raised beds, I ordered truckloads of mulch and compost and soil...lol That was in North Carolina about 18 years ago. Much easier and quicker, but certainly more expensive. This time (Illinois) we have just worked from the dirt up, layering and composting and slinging chicken poop as far as we can. lol

    Happy gardening, boys !!

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    1. Tidy now, crazy jungle later I'm sure. I can't wait to see it myself. Of course, what I see in my head and how it might come out are two different things. These are six beds and I'm already doodling on paper about adding on for a fall garden, ha. Cost wasn't so bad with the soil. I'm going to add some compost and mulch on top after things are planted. I figure as it settles and next season, I'll just stir it up and add more anyway.

      Thanks!!!

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    2. the compost serves as your mulch 1st man. btw... you're beds are 4' across... right? you have the basis of square foot gardening already. you can reach 2' in comfortably from each side. You're a square foot gardener and didn't even know it. (big smiles)

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    3. Yes, they are 4x4 and 4x8. I had read that that was the most comfortable size to reach in and work. I was hoping that was the case, ha.

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  3. I have just one raised bed and can spend a week every spring just thinking about it, dreaming about it. You must be having many times the fun. I do have an aunt, an excellent gardener, who makes a bit of fun of my efforts every year. She's convinced that you have to grow down in the dirt, not raised up and boxed in. She's 82 and does 10 times what I do.

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    1. Ha, my grandfather was the way way. Gardened into his 80's as well. Always grew the most amazing stuff. He's laugh at my raised beds too I'm afraid, ha. It's really the only way there on that property, it's just not good soil.

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  4. You do realize this means you will have to take up canning this summer.

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  5. LOVE those beds... but get out the string trimmer... you'll be trimming around them, just like we do. We did put indoor-outdoor carpeting down between two rows, and may try to do the rest this summer. Raised beds are the way to go!

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    1. Oh yep, already ready for that. Raised beds I think are the best choice too. Especially not able to be out there 24/7. I had a couple of small once in town and they were so much easier for weeding and taking care of. I like the carpeting idea. I'd eventually love gravel or something but we'll just have to see how it goes. For now the weedeater will work, ha.

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  6. Looks good. Now planting time! Oh, and that is one big white bull. Can't wait to see the growth.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, I saw that bull on the property behind us and he was over at the fence line checking out the cows from the neighboring property. I think he didn't like me out there making noise, ha.

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    2. Or, maybe you were wearing red!

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  7. great looking beds. and they will look neat for a short time after planting and then bam! the plants go wild. especially the first year. can't wait to see what you plant.

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    1. Plants Gone Wild! I can't wait!!! :-)

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  8. That's some lovely looking planting medium, and I'm shocked at the (good) price. I have to pay $34 a yard for plain old composted cow poo, and talk my son into hauling it 1/2 yard at a time. You did good on getting 5 yards moved. My garden doesn't have an entrance big enough to get my garden cart through, so I have to haul mine in a bucket full at a time! That's changing today though, with "new" fencing and bigger gate!

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    1. It's a great price huh? The whole 5 yards plus regular delivery (we got a special delivery because they misscheduled us last weekend) cost $125. I figure the first time is the most and from now on I can add to it with bags as needed. There was no way to get that much soil/compost in either of our cars (I sense an old farm truck in our future, ha). Can't wait!! Oh and we're going to do some fencing this season too, we'll see how that goes. Thanks for being my inspiration! :-)

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  9. 1st Man - the beds look awesome! and you were very smart to get the dirt shipped in - now all they need is some compost tea every 2 weeks and your plants will be gorgeous! i am dieing to get out and into our garden! right now we are trying to build our greenhouse (out of windows that jambaloney got out of other people's garbage). when that greenhouse is built i am going whole hog and not reigning myself in at all. i say - plant everything that you have and see what does well and what doesn't. just know tho that you are going to be up to your eyeballs in produce if it all takes off. not a bad thing in my mind. teehee.

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Yes, I've heard compost tea is awesome. There is actually a garden center (mom and pop type place) that sells fresh compost tea by the gallon jug. You just serve it yourself in gallon milk jugs.

      I love that idea, just plant it all and see what happens. TOO MUCH FOOD? Is that possible ? LOL!

      Thanks Kymber!!!!

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  10. There is a gardeners catalog that offers rubber mats that I put between and around my beds to keep out the weeds on a permanent basis and the mats don't wear out like other mediums. I used to use cardboard layers held down by bricks and that worked very well also.

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    1. I haven't seen those! might have to check that out. I've heard cardboard works great especially for killing the grass under it. Thanks!! (by the way, missed you!)

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    1. Much appreciated, thank you very much!!! :-)

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  12. Beds look really good. I have tried square foot gardening but found its not as easy to hoe between the plants so I've modified it by planting in rows but as close as square foot suggests. Allows me to get in there between the plants with a hand hoe to keep the weeds down. Are deer a problem where you are?

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    1. You know, I kind of thought about that. I did actually have a small raised bed in town and did some square foot but it sort of turned into a combo of that and what I wanted to do. I'm thinking that will be the same here. I just like the whole concept of the raised bed, seems so much easier to manage and looks kind of cool too, ha.

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    2. OH, and not really a deer problem, but there have been a few seen in the area. 2nd Family said they never really have come onto the property but I will keep an eye on that. We're looking at fencing now, so we'll get some fencing as well.

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  13. It's amazing how exciting soil can be, isn't it! Oh man...the possibilities are endless now!!!

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    1. Oh my gosh, it is! There is something about connecting with the Earth too. I loved the smell of it as we were filling them and then I sat on the edge of the beds and smoothed it out with my hand and it was very zenlike, ha.

      Yes, possibilities are almost endless now!

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  14. Where did you get the brackets for the raised beds? I love them. I made a raised bed last year in the back of the garden and planted Strawberries and asparagus in it. I love the look of it and now want to turn the entire garden into beds and I love the look of yours. Thank for sharing.

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    1. They are really cool huh? You can go here: http://twomenandalittlefarm.blogspot.com/2013/02/raised-garden-beds-step-one-complete.html Or I edited the post above just for you (and future people that might ask) to show the posts that had step one and step two. Step one has the links to the ones I got. I found them at Plow and Hearth and then found more on sale once at Amazon. They were kind of pricey at full price (but honestly I think they might be worth it even at that price) but I did find some on sale.

      Raised beds just look so cool and are, I think anyway, easier to use.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

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