Thursday, March 26, 2009

Raised Beds, Part Deux

Well, the beds are filled now. I could have borrowed a friend's father's truck, gone to Con Robinson, got soil and compost, come home and made hundreds of trips between the truck and the back yard to fill the beds. I could have had 4 cubic yards dumped in the driveway and made hundreds of trips between the dirt pile and the back yard to fill the bed frames. Or I could just pay someone to do it for me. I chose the last option. It was a bargain. When I got home Monday, all my landscaping had fresh mulch and the boxes were filled with organic soil and compost. Yeah!!
Of course, I immediately planted seeds - mesculin mix, bibb and romaine lettuce, spinach, two types of swiss chard, dill, cilantro, basil and parsley. Now don't worry...I didn't plant a lot of any of these; I'm still learning how much I need to plant to feed mainly one person. Well, and some very close friends. Here are some pictures:

The herbie-looking plastic tub to the right in the top photo is a modified herbie compost bin. The raised bed to the right in the one containing my first seeds.

And these photos are of two of my freshly mulched flower beds. The small tree to the left of the front porch is a redbud which is just barely budding. It will be gorgeous soon. The beds in the back yard contain knockout roses among other plants; I'll take another photo after they've bloomed so you can see how lovely they are.

Life is good.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bobbette the Builder

I completed the project last night. It took about 1 1/2 hours to complete one and a half 4' by 4' bed frames. I had already built 1/2 of a bed Sunday when my drill started to run out of power. So I finished the rest Monday. I probably could have shaved a few more minutes off the project but I had to stop to address "inquiring" neighbors. How's that for being tactful?
Just as I was pounding in the last stake, my rubber mallet broke. I suppose it was worn out, too. I didn't want to get out of bed this morning and my right bicep grew overnight. I think I can arm-wrestle any man in the office today and win. Whew! Now all I have to do is haul about 2 cubic feet of soil and compost to fill it in. Any volunteers?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gardening with Raised Beds

Well, I took the plunge on Saturday and began to build my first raised bed. I was following instructions given by The Pioneer Woman on her blog site, using 2' by 6' untreated wood. The job looked totally simple to me but what was supposed to take about an hour took me about 2 1/2 hours, even with my brother-in-law's help.

You see, the first problem was getting the screws to cooperate and go through one 2' by 6' and into another one. Whew! I was using a 18 volt power drill and the screws still weren't cooperating. Oh, and let me mention I had predrilled the holes.

I knew I needed help so I called Super Chuck, who arrived shortly with his own drill and two battery packs. This man was serious, y'all! He backed out the uncooperative screws, drilled larger holes and then reinstalled the screws. From that point on, the job went a lot faster. Bless him. If I had the materials to contruct another bed he would have stayed to help. Here are some before and after pictures of my first 8' by 4' bed.

This is what my garden looked like before I began the project. The "bushes" are herbs. They look dead but they aren't.

This is Super Chuck doing all the work.

Voila' - the finished project. Isn't it pretty?

On Sunday, I started building two 4' by 4' beds. The next step is filling the beds with soil. Any volunteers? Keep in mind - those who don't help don't eat.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fiber One/Spa Giveaway

My friend is giving away a prize package on her blog site. It involves chocolate spa products and Fiber One. Go to and register. Good Luck.