Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time for new Garden Beds

It's time to expand the garden by three beds. A quick, well not so quick, trip to Lowe's to get timbers for the beds. The timber pile was pretty well picked over for the entire summer. It took about an hour to come up with 27 useable timbers. The first thing is to mow down the grass. I'm not one to scrape the grass off the beds but instead I just cover them up with yard waste and compost in the spring.

It always seems that things pop up unexpectedly. Hauling patio blocks from the side yard to the backyard to build the path between the beds, one of those unexpected things happened. After piling the wheel barrow full of patio blocks I discovered that the tire was low. It was so low I feared the tire would lose all the air.

Well, I turned to the old school air compressor. Yeah, I know I'm a pretty old guy. It still works. I pumped up the tire in good shape and continued on my way to the back yard with the load.

Finally the path is laid block by block. Not too challenging yet. Still just putting the blocks on top of the grass. Does the grass grow up through the cracks? Of course it does, but a quick buzz with the weed wacker when mowing the grass takes care of the grass issue. It's really not that much of a problem.

First path done and now on with the building of the actual beds. There will be three more all together. You can see that the onion patch has turned to weeds while I was gone on the last trip.

Twenty seven timbers from the truck to the back yard was a task for sure. Fourteen trips later the task was done and it was time for a break. Twenty seven cuts later all the timbers are cut and ready for building the beds.

Ah, yes coffee is always a refreshing drink for breaks. As you can see the grass has grown as well during my absence. I really want to finish up the garden beds to be able to put the grass-fallen leaf mixture into the beds as a first layer of fall compost. By next spring this mixture will be reduced to a layer of half composted material.
That's it for day one of building the expanded garden beds. Tomorrow is another day. With all the timbers cut the building actually begins.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finished Garden Expansion

The expansion is complete. I had hoped for three more beds but only two beds would fit in the area to the water tank. I have enough timbers for another bed but that will have to wait until next year. Tomorrow I will be mowing the long overdue yard and with leaves mixed with the grass it will make for a great thing to fill the beds. Much more leaf mulch will go into these beds including the old beds. This will bring my total beds up to five.

Next year I'll have a full bed devoted to tomatoes, one for cucumbers, one for potatoes, and one for bell peppers. The last bed is undecided yet but will most likely start with lettuce and radishes. I like the white icicle ones that are a tad bit hotter than the red balls.

I really need to learn how to make pickles as Bradley, my grandson, will consume a half gallon pickle jar every couple weeks. What a kid. He eats pickles with everything.

As you can see the garden still has a little life left in it. The tomatoes have slowed down greatly and so have the bell peppers. The potatoes are from one plant with many others waiting to be explored. The onions are a mystery to me. They grew well after first being planted. Then after a couple months the tops died out and they were dormant all summer. About the middle of August they came back to life and are growing again. I'm not quite sure how that works but I'm waiting to pull them up after the first frost which is normally about October 15 which is just a couple weeks away. It's been a great year for gardening and I'm looking forward to a long winter's nap and planning for next year's garden.
This winter I really want to get started working on my storage area in the basement. Next year I plan on storing a lot more than last year. This year I didn't store anything and gave most of the produce away to friends and neighbors.
Happy harvesting to all and to all a good night.