Sunday, March 15, 2009

making the most of a beautiful day

what a day! just beautiful. the morning started out a bit cool hovering in the lower 40˚s making for a brisky waking up. the afternoon warmed to just above 60˚ and hung there for the remainder of the day - perfect for outside tasks and adventures.

today turned out to be the eastside garden expansion day. yes, the very expansion that i have been pondering for months and then some. well i am happy to report that after much sweat, digging, lifting and a pair of crusty muddy knees, the task is complete. four new 6' x 8' x 12"h beds have replaced the four smaller 4' x 6' x 10"h beds. the larger sized beds prove to offer quite a bit more planting space which is truly fantastic - double the space in fact.

it was quite a job. two of the older wood raised beds crumbled to smaller pieces in the process of lifting them up from the ground - a sure sign that upgrade was right on time. the other two held together well as they were made from a thicker wood stock.

i measured out the four beds, marked each area with stakes and twine then cut out the veggie bits that needed relocating. it went pretty well. i did not save every little bitty but i did save most. once the cut out veggies were moved, i assembled the beds. i could have built the beds on the mostly flat and level drive but they would have proved too big and heavy for me to move on my own. it took me a bit of time. i had to level out the ground to get the beds to secure together properly.

once the beds were in, i forked up the soil and planted the relocated veggie bits. i also planted the remainder of my tomato starts, pepper starts and eggplant starts. the spring/summer garden is nearly all in. the only veggies still waiting for a home are the summer and winter squash starts, my lemony cucumber starts and the last of my musky melon starts. these may go into the two surviving older raised beds once i locate a proper place for them. in fact they may prove perfect for the job. i'm also hoping to plant in a bean vine tee pee for fun. and then there are the sweet potatoes and the basil and the okra and... tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

the new beds are wanting for a bit of soil but will do quite well for the time being as the soil beneath broke up quite well with the fork. an encouraging number of earth worms were on duty which is also a great sign. the longer term plan is to slowly build up the height of the soil as the tomato, pepper and eggplant starts grow taller. slow and steady as she goes.

my body is feeling the day. there is no doubt that sleep will be sound tonight.

still to do - move all those darn leaves. but there is a plan in store. once the two older beds are in their new place, i'll smother the grass below with a good layer of leaves followed by a layer of compost then another layer of leaves and finally a thick layer of soil. this fluffy mix will prove well not only for the veggies but for wormies and for proper drainage. the mix will breakdown slowly and feed the plants above and the worms below. it's a win win.
cheers until tomorrow folks.

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