May 1, 2012

Rasied Garden Beds & Compost

The weather has been great lately, and my little man definitely needs to run off steam, (seriously, we could use a human hamster wheel around here,) so we've been spending a lot of time working on the huge project we call our yard.  It started with this pile of awesomeness.

That probably doesn't look so exciting to you, but that's a huge pile of cedar wood that I got at a fantastic deal.  A local lumber yard near my house had recently purchased some reclaimed cedar from a playground, so I got this gently used wood at a ridiculously low cost. 

We used the playground cedar to put together a super low cost compost pile.  Since my wood lengths were 6', I built a 6' x 3' total box with a divider in the middle for two 3' by 3' boxes.  The divider will help me transfer and flip the compost for better decomposing.  The reclaimed wood was already stained for me, making this compost heap way too cute for the garbage I'm going to throw in it.

I used the 1x6x8 cedar (that's a true 1", not 3/4") to build my garden boxes, stacking the wood 2 high for a 12" depth.  I ripped some of the playground cedar for the stakes and support. 

 We laid down plastic and mulch between the beds to avoid mud and dirt, and began by filling the bottom 5" or so with mulched leaves.

Then we hauled 56 bags of dirt and manure to the back yard and up to the platform.  Yep, you heard me, 56 heavy bags of dirt and poo.  As expected, the Hubs threw a temper-tantrum when I informed him of our daily activity, but once I likened the task to "the original cross-fit", he used it as an opportunity to show off his muscles and ran those bags around the house, up the hill, and up the steps.  He's a bad ass.

 Here's just a start to our poo pile.

We loaded in 1 bag of manure for every 4 bags of topsoil for a healthy and nutrient full garden. Ryderman and I even planted the first of our plants, broccoli and lettuce started for me by my dad. 

We're not done yet, but its definitely a step up from the space just over a month ago.  

Remember these pathetic raspberry bushes?  

We added some more black dirt around them, as well as some old mulch from other beds that had seen better days, but it was perfect for helping us hold the water around these bad boys.  They look better already.

We added in some rhubarb plants too.  I can taste the pie already.

It's been a ton of work, and we still have a ton more to go.  But as long as the weather is nice, I don't mind it.  At least we're finally getting out of the house.  How about you guys?  Any big lawn work?  Is anyone else planting a garden this year?  Whatcha planting?


  1. Alana S-RMay 01, 2012

    Cute Landscape Architect husband says if you put down 3" of mulch you won't need any plastic stuff. But it takes 3" to keep the weeds at bay. And that's a lot of mulch and a lot of bags for Jason to carry.

  2. You're right- not sure if I could get the hubs to haul more bags of landscaping materials to the backyard. :) (Fool me once...) Good to know that 3" is the recommended amount to avoid weeds though. We'll need to add a bunch more to the other beds to avoid the weed problems we had last year. That's a project for another day though...