Project: Raised Beds
On Saturday I got up nice and early to work at my day job, then headed south to rebuild a friend’s raised beds with his three boys. There were three neglected beds in the backyard that had hydrophobic soil, rotting boards, and plenty of weeds. I met everyone at the nursery and got a few supplies, but let the boys pick out the seedlings.
Back at the house, we removed tons of overgrown weeds, soaked the soil until it absorbed the water, amended it, and softened up the clumps. Since we weren’t starting from scratch, we had the added challenge of fix things up as we went. We probably should have replaced the boards before fixing the soil, but we didn’t discover the full damage until we started making a mess of the soil. Replacing the boards slowed us down a bit as people went to the store, and then we screwed together planks and stakes.
After a full day of labor, we ended with 3 mostly restored beds and seedlings in the ground. Two of the beds still need the wood replaced, so you will see that we only planted in the centers of the beds. So far there are brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and purple broccoli in the ground. There will be beets, spinach, and lettuce planted around the edges, and perhaps also sugar snap peas.
The entire process was a great exercise in planning and delegating. Often when I garden, I just dive in and figure it out as I go. Also? Barefoot gardening around others (especially children) requires special care so as to not receive a pitchfork in the foot. Not to mention my bad influence on the children and their filthy feet.
Honestly though, aside from seeing the final result, my proudest moment was watching the boys argue over who got to plant what. I loved their enthusiasm. I’m told that they got up early on Sunday morning just to water again!
As an added bonus, after we were all exhausted, we ate a fantastic fall dinner with porkloins, apples, acorn squash, and rolls.