Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Big Move

Fall is in the air, and as always, that means fall gardening chores. After work on Friday, I put on my favorite gardening jeans and my clogs, and began one of the biggest projects of the season - moving one of my raised beds.

I love this raised bed that I bought a few seasons ago from Gardeners Supply Company. It is their Two-Tier Raised Bed. One half is six inches deep and the other half is twelve inches deep. Plus, it has these great poles that can be used to drape row covers. I originally placed this raised bed in a spot too shady to grow vegetables, so I decided earlier this year that it was time for a move.

I'd been wanting to move it beside my other two raised beds, but the summer heat and humidity had kept me far, far away from tackling this project. In its new spot, it will get about 8 hours of sun a day in the summer. This area is on a bit of a slope, so I did have to grade the slope a bit.

First, I had to move all the soil from the raised bed to the tarp. I removed about 3/4 of the soil from the deeper bed, then called it an evening. It took me about an hour and a half to clean out the bed, dig, fill the garden cart, then dump the soil from the garden cart onto the tarp.

After attending a family reunion at Holmes County State Park on Saturday, I picked up where I left off and dug out the rest of the soil. Once I had all the soil out, I deconstructed the raised bed (so easy!) and started grading the slope where I planned to move the new bed.

I really hoped to finish the entire project on Saturday since there was rain in the forecast on Sunday, but after digging for another two hours on Saturday evening, I was once again ready to call it quits.

On Sunday morning, I was ready to pull this project together and FINISH IT. My wonderful husband volunteered to help me so that we could try to get it done before the thunderstorms rolled in. We started putting the bed together and moving soil at around 9:30 AM in 65F weather. It was cool, windy, overcast, and threatening rain all morning. In my opinion, the perfect time to do tough chores. By 11 we had the bed built and all the soil moved in. I moved on to other gardening chores (weeding the iris bed, putting fresh pine straw around the raised bed in its new location, moving some elephant ears that were in a bad spot), and Chip (did I mention that I have a wonderful husband?) started on the next big project on my list - moving the compost bin.
By 1 PM two huge chores on my list were done, and I felt great about what we'd been able to accomplish. I don't usually recruit Chip to help me in the garden. I can be terribly bossy out there because I want everything done my way because - after all - it is my garden. Depending on the day I'll either be a real meanie or I'll be nice and let him do it his way, then go back behind him and redo everything. Today, though, we reached a happy balance out there. By the time I got cleaned up, the storms had rolled in for good. It is 9 PM, and it is still raining out there.

So now, my backyard vegetable garden is much improved. I've got a sunnier location for my vegetables, a neater spot for my compost bin, and some additional work space for turning my compost bin.

With fall here, the leaves will be falling from the trees in no time, and I'll fill my lunch breaks with raking and my bin with chopped leaves. Did I mention that I found out that our leaf blower also has a leaf vacuum that chops the leaves? I am really optimistic about managing those leaves this year! We'll see if that changes once they start falling.

And, once again, I leave you with my gardening motto. Happy Fall!


Pam/Digging said...

Your sign says it all! So true. You got a lot accomplished, and it looks fresh and wonderful. Now if I could just recruit you and your helpful husband to come dig some dirt in MY garden next weekend. I've got a section of lawn to dig out...

The Curious Holts said...

wow! you guys worked hard today. Your garden looks great. Those are some really cool beds. I'm glad I found your blog from my blog from Pam's blog...

Ginger said...

That area of your yard looks AWESOME now! So organized!

I cannot even imagine how hard it would be to empty a raised bed -- you are hardcore!

What are the pretty yellow flowers in one of your raised beds?

Lisa Blair said...

Pam, I don't envy you at all this week! Digging out lawn is so much more difficult than just moving dirt. I had to remove a section of lawn to put in those raised beds, and ugh, it was tough. If I lived near Austin, you could totally recruit me in exchange for some passalongs from your garden! I love it!

Hey there, Curious Holts! Thanks for stopping by!

Ginger, thanks for the props! My shoulders are a little bit sore from all the digging, but hey, it beats lifting weights in the gym. My mother-in-law even told me I had Michelle Obama arms! Now, THAT is payoff!

The yellow flowers are the marigolds. Wasn't one of them a passalong from you? Or maybe the orange one? I can't remember. They really took off this year, though. Wish I could say the same for my squash and tomatoes.

Casey said...

Lisa! You are such a pro! It sounds like you have such a great time out there! I enjoy reading... and I like your red sign. I'm going to tell that to Michael next time he asks if I enjoy killing our plants :) I'm going to try and figure it out one day when we own our home... too much of an investment otherwise. So for now I'm keeping to my garden in a bag. hehe