Project 3 ~ Prepping Raised Beds for Spring Planting
Today was perfect for working in the garden, so I
decided to finish up Project 3.
Last week I added hoops to the raised beds so I can apply plastic or netting. The hoops are 8-foot lengths of half-inch PVC pipe. I drove a 1-foot piece of rebar on each side of the beds two feet apart. Then you slip the ends of the pipe over the rebar and you have an instant hoop. Covering them with plastic allows me to get a head start on the garden. Applying it early will help warm the soil and by next week, I can start planting seeds of cold weather plants such as kale. Once it is warm enough on a consistent basis to remove the plastic, I will replace it with bird netting to keep out the chickens and any other wild critters that may roam into the yard and decide to feast on my vegetables.
Today I picked up 10 bags of mixed compost and cow manure at Lowe's and used two of them for each bed to improve the soil. The hardest part of this project was carrying the 40-pound bags of manure from the car to the garden, so I did it first to get it over with.
I worked the manure along with worm castings into the soil. I probably should have done it before adding the hoops, but the ground was still to frozen last week for mixing, and it wasn't difficult to work between the hoops.
Newly prepared soil always makes me happy, especially after such a cold, brutal winter.
Lastly I spread the plastic over the hoops and held it down on the ends with old pieces of cut wood and bricks.
I covered all but one bed. This one will be used for tomatoes and I won't be planting them until May, so I will probably go directly to netting on this bed.
The three-tiered planter in the center is planted with strawberries, but I'm not sure they survived the winter. Time will tell.
This project came in a little over $100 even though some of my materials were leftover from last summer. This is what I spent this year:
PVC pipes ~ $22.37
Rebar ~ $29.98
Clear 4mil plastic sheeting ~ $12.24
2 nets (I already had 2 from last year) ~ $12.24
10 bags of compost/cow manure ~ $42.27
Total ~ $119.63
Next week it's going to turn cold again, so I'll let the soil settle for a week before I start planting seeds.
I'm a mother of one "out-of-college" daughter, inheritor of one cat,a dog and four chickens, full time medical secretary, gardener, painter of furniture, fixer-upper and handy woman around my house, passionate about decorating, lover of flea markets and yard sales, restorer of old things, but most importantly, a daughter of God. Blogging is a way to journal and share my life, passions, and journey with anyone interested enough to follow along.