the beds are ready

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

beds of soil

I got up and started moving soil. I was so anxious to get plants and start planting. I wasn’t nearly as tired or sore as I thought I’d be. My biggest complaint was that my forearms were a bit tired from gripping the handles to the wheelbarrow. But I wasn’t dying.

It took me a while to figure out the glove situation too. The shovel I was using to fill the wheelbarrow required gloves. It’s old and the wooden handle isn’t in primo shape. But to ‘drive’ the wheelbarrow down the hill…no gloves worked better. I had better control and it seemed that if I wore gloves all the time, I would possibly get blisters from the gloves rubbing when I bounced down some steps.

I moved a total of another 17 wheelbarrows of soil today. That’s a total of 60 loads! My husband scooped the soil into the wheelbarrow exactly twice. The rest was all me. I also bought the first round of plants. It was kind of funny about buying the plants…

I used to not like tomatoes at all. It’s a texture thing. I liked tomato sauce and salsa, as long as they weren’t too chunky. A few years ago, I started to appreciate good tomatoes by eating Insalata Caprese. But since tomatoes are the thing that my husband has the greatest interest in in the vegetable garden, he gets to pick out the tomatoes. We went to buy plants together, so I assumed we were going to come home with tomatoes. When we got to the nursery, he announced that he wasn’t ready to buy tomatoes. Huh? We did get an assortment of hot peppers, some strawberries (Quinault), some lettuce, and some artichokes though.

the day the soil arrives

Monday, March 31, 2008

soil!

This was an event that was a long time in the making! My soil arrived today!

It arrived about 10:30 am…all 6 yards of it. I started moving it immediately. I moved 43 wheelbarrows full (sort of full) and they were nearly full at the end of the day. I should have watered them down as I went. I’d think they were full, I’d water them down, and they’d need more soil. I should have realized that they’re essentially just big containers and I should have treated them that way. At that point, though, I was happy that they’d take more soil because there was still SO much left.

the beds

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I built these…
beds

…in the summer of ’05 and they’ve just sat there empty (or weed filled) since then. Why? The aforementioned over-analysis.

One of the ‘sticking points’ for getting the soil was that it just killed me to pay for the delivery. We had a truck and I figured I should just go pick it up a truckload at a time. But I never did. Now that gas is so expensive and we no longer have the truck I thought the delivery wasn’t too bad of a deal. So I got 6 yards of soil delivered from here.

Also, we got our first dog earlier that year and I found out that it is very difficult to work in the yard with an energetic puppy around. Particularly one who charges and barks at shovels, rakes, and the like.

I built six beds that are 8′ x 4′ out of 1″ x 12″ redwood. The five that are grouped in this picture have hardware cloth stapled to the bottom because of the many underground critters in our yard. They are ‘seated’ into the slope of the yard so that they’re level. I wish I would have left more space in between them, and I even thought about moving them. But I realized I just needed to get them filled.

The sixth one has since been moved to an area that is shadier. I’ve always wanted a ‘nursery bed’ to have a place to stick things when they pop up randomly. Whether its a volunteer that’s in an inopportune spot, and you know you want it, but you don’t know where. Or to ‘start’ things. Or to otherwise keep things temporarily.

And now I have it.

(almost) spring cleaning and hello

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It wasn’t intentional…this return to gardening. I’ve been doing work on the inside of the house (pulling up carpet, laying some laminate flooring, picking out paint colors) and even bought some houseplants. I guess that was a sign of things to come.

before

This is what my ‘garden’ area has looked like, off and on, for the past few years. And I didn’t even set out to clear it to get to be able to work on it. We lost a large portion of a tree and were having people in to help get rid of the remains of it and I asked them to knock down the weeds on this level as long as they were here.

Here is the project that the clean-up spawned, start to finish. How am I able to show you the whole thing now? I’m going back and making the first few posts after the fact using notes I made and various other writings and musings from that time. While it was going on I was working outside during the day and putting this blog and the pictures together at night. Might as well get this out of the way right off the bat: I often over-analyze things to the point of debilitation. Paralysis by analysis. And so it was with getting ‘all this’ set up…shouldIkeepusinganoldblogIhad? shouldIstartanewblog? shouldIdowordpressdotorgsoIcantotallycustomizeit? (did that…then flipped back to this) shouldIusewordpressdotcomsinceIwillspendwaytoomuchtimecustomizingifgivenfullreign? howshouldIkeepmyphotos…newphotobucket…dotmacwebgallery…flickr? (went round and round with these too)

Suffice it to say I’ve made choices and I WILL stick to them now. So far, so good.