Monday, May 9, 2016

RAISED BED GARDEN CLEANED UP

 So here is what happens after 4 weeks of rain and leaving nature to take it's course...


This is the garden area.  

Out of control is an understatement...so I had to jump in and tackle it.  I'll admit, it's a bit daunting to stand there in the morning and think "I have to clean this up by the end of today".  Almost makes you want to run back into bed and sleep.  But I persevered...


 First thing I did was edge.  

I edged around all four sides of each raised bed...then around the inside of the fence...then went outside the fence and edged around it again (twice).


Then I borrowed 2nd Family's push mower and mowed everything inside.  Pushing through that tall grass with a non self-propelled mower was hard but I got it done.


Then I started putting down the weed block fabric.  We bought two 4'x300' rolls.  Since the beds are all about three feet apart from each other and the fence along the side...


...it let me run it up the side of each bed.  Then I put down a whole box (150) of lawn staples. That was a lot of bending down and then getting back up and doing it again, and again, and again.  

But behold...


The end result!  

This fabric is AMAZING stuff.  Instead of the flimsy fabric we got at the big box store that doesn't last, I researched online and this is what commercial greenhouses use as their flooring, and garden centers as well.  It is even made to use as is, you don't have to cover it.  UV resistant for years.  Basically it's the best you can buy.  It cut like a dream, it laid down easily, and even on a windy day, they stayed down without much assistance.

UPDATE:  Here is what we bought on Amazon (they had the best price): 


Ours was the one that is about $75/roll.  Keep in mind, this particular roll is 4' wide by 300' long...so that makes it 1200 square feet.  I used a whole roll and about 40' off the other roll.

Here are a few more before and after photos...


Above is the left side before...


...and after.


Right side before...


And after...

More updates tomorrow!

27 comments:

Texas Rose said...

That was a LOT of work!! It looks sooo great now. Doesn't it make you feel such accomplishment to look at the before and after pictures!

Are you going to plant anything? Okra, peppers, and some herbs, such as basil, lemon balm, and rosemary, like hot weather. And I think you could get in a crop of green beans and squash and some tomatoes before it gets too hot.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

wow..that is a lot of work but you did such a good job!

Jan B said...

Did you even clean the wood fence ?!! It looks brand new... power washer?

laurie said...

looks great,, that was a big job!!!

ladyhawthorne said...

Can you give us the name of the fabric and where you got it? I could really use some of that.

Colleen said...

A lot of work but will be so nice in the long run and much easier to deal with.
Noticed that you already have a few things planted already; looks like a couple tomato plants and other things. Good for you.
Was going to mention; that black fabric, if you have any left would be nice to cover your raised beds until you are ready to get them planted and that will really help in keep the weeds out of them raised beds in the meantime.

Colleen said...

Don't know where 1st man ordered his but a friend of our got his fabric from here: The place is located in Il.
http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/category/ground-cover-fabric

Colleen said...

Video on laying black plastic seed blocker fabric.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5-qlZ04TWk

Elephant's Child said...

Looking good. Looking very good.

jewlz said...

I'm beyond impressed- and a wee bit jealous, too :).

1st Man said...

Oh I love looking back at the pictures, it really does make me feel accomplished. Yes, see tomorrow's post for that.

1st Man said...

It was (mostly) fun doing it, of course today I'm sore all over but hey, it's exercise, right?

1st Man said...

OMG that's too funny, one of my coworkers said the same thing. The 'before' photos were taken in the morning, when I got there (about 8:30iam ish) I think the sun was just at the right angle to make the fence darker. The after was late afternoon.

Thanks!!

1st Man said...

It was, thank you!!! So glad it's done. Now I can concentrate on the fun stuff, ha.

1st Man said...

Oh my gosh, I totally for to put that in the post. Will edit it to include. Bought it on Amazon...they seemed to have the lowest price (and we have amazon prime so shipping was 2 days and free!).

Thanks for the links Colleen, yep, that's where I found it first (I think, I did a lot of googling, ha). It is made by DeWitt, they seem to be the industry standard.

Good luck!!

Anne in the kitchen said...

Just wow! Want a little "vacation" in Alabama? I have a nice guest room and can buy some weed blocker fabric really quickly. I would hate for your newly acquired skills to get rusty from lack of use!

1st Man said...

Yep, a few plantings, more on that in tomorrow's post. 2nd Man suggested the same thing about the fabric. I might just put them over and staple them down to the sides, and yes, we definitely have some leftover.

1st Man said...

Thank you very much!

1st Man said...

Aww, thanks!! Let's hope I can keep it like this, ha.

1st Man said...

LOL, let me see how many vacation days I have left, ha. Just kidding, I almost didn't have it in my to finish this one. :-)

Colleen said...

Lay some straw around your plants; keeps moisture in and helps in keeping the weeds out.

Alison said...

Nice work! You are taking care of yourself, right? I look forward to the next adventure!

1st Man said...

Great idea, thanks!!!

1st Man said...

I am definitely taking care of myself, no worries. And 2nd Man definitely makes sure I am well fed, ha.

Katie C. said...

You did a lot of work in one day! We just got a community garden lot last week and have been weeding ever since. Our backs are probably in a similar state. I have one partial solution. I made microwaveable rice filled bags. Get the cheapest rice you can find and some fabric. I used flannel. Sew two squares together leaving just a small spot where you can insert a funnel. Pour in rice. Stitch closed. I usually microwave mine for two minutes then I sit with it sandwiched between the chair and my back with a glass of wine in my hand ;-). If it gets too hot, just wrap it in a towel. These are also great for warming your tootsies in bed on a cold night! I find if I use this the evening of the day I overdo, I'm not so sore the next day.

Are you planning to mulch the landscape fabric again?

Texan said...

This is the fabric I have in my garden in the walkways. You will love it. I have been missing in blogland. Life has been ..... well every so busy.... Good but a bit out of control. :O) ... good choice on the fabric! :O)

Alice said...

Looks great but too much wasted space. Perhaps dig up a bit in the center and plant pumpkins or watermelon and let the vines wander on top of the weed block fabric.