Monday, April 21, 2014

Garden Progress

 On Saturday we headed off to Home Depot to buy landscape timbers to lift our troughs off the ground for height and drainage. Right next to the timbers were these concrete blocks and we sat in the car and discussed which would be better in the long run. Obviously we chose the smart but heavy to lift route.
Dave had to level off part of the yard to make the blocks sit straight and that was even more arduous than expected.

This is the 'soil' he dug up, 95% stone and the rest is clay. We are using it in the bottom of tub #1 for drainage. There isn't a chance in the world that I could have amended this stuff to make it into good soil. Forget. It.
 Then on Easter Sunday, after I took a ride to visit a big nursery, which was closed but viewable, I came back and began loading up the wheelbarrow with mulch. It took about 40 loads to fill this area. The previous night Dave sprayed this part of the grass with vegetation killer to keep the space clear of weeds and grass, for a while. We know from our previous yard that eventually things sprout in the mulch, but not this year.
The height of the tubs is now about 32-33 inches, which is right where my hips meets my legs. Perfect height to stand and cultivate. We still have half of the mulch remaining, so we plan today to mulch the perimeter of the yard about 4-5 feet in from the fence. This will leave just a strip of grass, should it ever green up.


At the end of the day we brought out the hose and sprayed the mulch down and then Dave rolled it smooth with the water-tank roller. That green thing in the yard is the cap to our buried propane tank for the fireplace. What a dopey idea. But we will disguise it with flower pots.
I found this photo on the internet, which fills me with hope for the summer growing season.
Love how the squash is overtaking this tub. eeeeeuuuwww!


  1. You made good progress! I think you'll be glad about the blocks vs the landscape timbers. I was out working in my raised planters which are wood and have slotted dividers - the centers have rotted out, so now I have 12" x 24" rows... but my cinder blocks are doing just great elsewhere in the yard! They will never rot. Love the inspirational pix... yours will look just as good before you know it!

  2. If you want to save a little on the amount of fill you will need to put in each trough put some empty milk jugs or large water bottles in the bottom. I do this with the large planters on my deck and it makes them lighter you don't need as much fill and the plants do just fine.

  3. The yard is looking good! You have made a lot of progress with getting the tubs set and level. Little by little it is coming together!

  4. Where do you get all the energy? That is an awful lot of hard work! Impressive!

  5. What on earth used to be there before houses? That dirt is terrible and you must be very pleased with going with raised beds now! And you are really putting in the hard yards on your yard.
    We've got glacial till here and people say it is rubbish but it grows things well and is only about 2% pebbles, mostly in layers. It is far better than the grey clay where I grew up.

  6. You might consider putting down newspapers over your grass, then a thin layer of composted manure, then your mulch. It kills any grass and improves the soil at the same time, giving you a nice garden bed to plant within a few months. I've used this technique, and it works wonderfully, without any plant-killing spray! Love your large garden planters. They'll look great growing in the summer.

  7. We use the same idea in tubs but have black rubbermaid horse troughs. We put pvc pipes with drain holes on end in the bottom so we can fill with water and they stay well hydrated. We have a hose that runs down into the bottom to fill. Good luck will be watching how they do.
    Ours too.

  8. The photo with the big leaves reminds me of the rhubarb plant that I have. I don't eat it but I do love the huge leaves it produces. Love your garden planter idea...better soil and easier access for working in. I agree with Kitchener Quilter who mentions putting down layers of newspaper to help reduce weeds. I done that in several small beds.

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