Saturday, May 23, 2015

How long does it take to build one garden bed?

Longer than I thought! Although I must say the second bed is larger and I had no help. So I wanted to make a bed before heading to Chicago for the weekend. Pat is already up there. Joe is at "Summer Camp" with the truck. Rylie can't lift a block. She even tried! Because I have these tomato plants I orded from Territorial seed months ago and had them arrive May 15th because I was sure we would have the beds ready by then. NOT!!!!
Derek's Truck

So I borrowed a friend's truck this morning and was at Menard's before 9 am.
50 Blocks!

I also bought a hand truck as recommended by Dr. Miles, our chiropractor. Then of course I had to assemble the hand truck and finding appropriate wrench was a challenge.
Hand Truck

So I put on sunscreen and started unloading the blocks and setting them. Each block weighs 30 lbs. Not bad but it adds up. I quickly drank my first 2L of crystal light.

I assigned Rylie the pool dredging to remove all the leaves. She lasted 10 minutes before complaining but she worked on it on and off. Then we decided to go ahead and drain it so we could clean it right and start off on the right foot this year.
Green Pool
We had some ducks hanging around last week but luckily I think they deemed our back yard too hazardous which was wise. BUT we're afraid they ate our frogs. :-( 

So here's the front of the garden. The salvia and baptisia are amazing this year.

So I took a break when I almost had first layer done around 1 pm. I realized this is not exactly an easy job. I knew it wouldn't be but I guess I was hoping for a miracle. I also began to realize my design was very flawed.

The zig zag side didn't look right like I planned and my alteration left me with spaces that were not block length. My thinking with this design was to try and capture more sunlight because the neighbors trees have grown over into our yard and cast a lot of shade now on the back half of the garden. We need to trim them back but even if we do there is one very tall tree in the yard behind ours that still casts shade from 3 pm on or it did today. But there was shade around 1 pm from the next door neighbors!!! Argh! So by stairstepping it something tall like tomatoes each one can be in the direct path of the rising sun. Capeche?
Half filled with dirt. 

But I had originally assumed the blocks would be 12" and they're 16" so that messed it all up. So back to the drawing board-ish. But this bed is here for this year anyway. 

My bed doesn't look close to as good as the one Pat did. :-(
For how big it looks in it looks like I can only fit 6 tomato plants. Sigh.... I have 9. But I may extend the bed and do away with the areas in between. Then I can fit 2 and I can walk on the blocks to get to them. We talked about putting a capstone on them but if I don't I will probably fill them with soil and plant marigolds. 

Pool about drained.... now we just have to clean out the rest of the slime! And I swear I'm going to used the broken up concrete to make a retaining wall by the garden. Anyone else ever do that?
See that pile of rocks, that was our back patio slab.

OK I'm officially worn out. But one last thing on my to do list. Flowers for dad.
Love you and miss you Dad!

I also like to visit the angel headstone nearby. Very moving....

Rylie wearing last years pants as capris!
Very productive day.... took a long hot bath and feel human again. Peace out!