Today was a lot of work. Bussard Bros dropped off 3 cubic yards of leaf compost. It was a whole lot of compost.
First things first: Need a place to put the soil. Time to build some boxes.
Cedar box time aw yeah
I had laid out cardboard the previous nights. It was nice and soft by the time Saturday rolled around. It was bulging in areas where the grass was trying to grow up and out. But I was having none of that.
Caveat: Wet cardboard breaks easily. I stepped through in a few places and had to drop new cardboard to patch it.
Assembling the raised bed boxes was not too difficult. Each box took approximately 30 minutes to assemble. I was able to use the table saw left behind by the previous homeowners to chop a 2×4 up.
I left the posts in the joints of the bed long enough that it should be relatively straightforward to increase the height of the beds.
Although I bought wood enough for 3 beds, I went with two beds since it was enough work putting two together. I felt the spacing between was a bit much, but I’ve seen other gardeners leave generous space between, so perhaps down the line that’ll serve well.
Also with a third bed for later, I can learn from these two in terms of placement, and put the 3rd in a better location.
I forget how many full wheelbarrows of leaf compost it took to fill the bed. I sprinkled clover, alfalfa, and peas into the soil for cover crops. Maybe I’ll transplant some vegetables in here. I just wanted to get the bed done and have something useful growing in it.
Countless wheelbarrows of compost later, I filled both beds.
I decided I wanted to plant the serviceberry. So on a whim I broke the bottom of a large plastic planter and proceeded to tear up the soil in order to drop the bucket in a few inches.
What I didn’t realize is there were so many worms right below the grass roots. I ended up chopping up a fair number of worms, which left me slightly horrified and feeling like that wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Then I went with it anyway, and then realized the serviceberry could grow 15-20 feet high, and a tree right in the middle of garden beds is not a good idea. So I swapped in a lemon geranium.
I decided to put several loads of leaf compost on to the former play area under the tree to rehabilitate the soil and give the tree nutrients.
I read about permaculture tree guidance and thought that below the large tree would be a good place for a slightly smaller tree.
Over time I’ll put mulch here as decaying wood encourages fungi to grow, which benefits trees.
Retrospective edit: This was bad placement. Also, wood chips would suit the tree much better.