Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Vegetable Bed + Composting

Despite entertaining our dear friends visiting from Oregon all weekend, I managed to get some yard work done yesterday after they left and am sore, sunburned, and happily tired today from all my busyness.

A long time ago, there used to be a brick chimney that connected to a fireplace in the living room of our house, but it collapsed during the '89 earthquake (or maybe it was when the tree fell through the house - I can never remember). The bricks were never really cleaned up, and I have found many throughout the years scattered throughout the property. Some were put to use by husband's parents in the form of borders in the yard (in addition using to random pieces of wood that were mostly completely rotted through), but at one point a few weekends ago, I decided to tear them all out and start over with a clean slate in the front yard.

I needed a place to transplant my butter lettuce and chive seedlings and hadn't really figured out where to put another raised bed in the backyard, so I figured I might as well built one in the front yard instead in an effort to keep myself motivated to work in both yards. The front yard tends to get neglected because I'm all about soaking up the spring and summer sun, and it's not as sunny as the backyard.

I think I will be able to fit three raised beds comfortably in the front yard and then will add bark mulch or maybe some pea gravel around them as well as some random ornamental plantings eventually. Hopefully, it will be sunny enough; if not, I'll need to rethink my plan for this area.

The butter lettuce is on the back half of the bed, and the chives are at the front.

Trouble kept me company for a while.

Last summer, I attended a free composting workshop sponsored by the county. Once you've completed the workshop, they give you a free Smith & Hawken Biostack composting bin! Unfortunately, I didn't know where to put it and didn't have the yard in any kind of shape that I wanted it to be in, so it sat out on the deck up until last weekend, when husband and I finally put it together.

The Biostack.

Future compost.

We had tried to make a compost bin out of a Rubbermaid garbage can many many moons ago, but we didn't really do it right, and it ended up being a big rotting mess. So we put the lid on it and forgot about it. Six years later, I opened it up and found some crazy rich humus soil in there, so after I finally finished cleaning up the brush pile (that has been sitting there for 2+ years), I dumped it in the spot where the brush pile was and where I plan to build some more vegetable beds.

No more brush pile!

Of course, the dogs had to check it out.

Despite the fact that I used plain ol' top soil and didn't add any fertilizer or amendment to my first vegetable bed, everything seems to be growing quite nicely. I did buy some Foxfarm plant food made specifically for vegetables, so next weekend, I plan to give the seedlings a much-needed boost.




The carrots are camera shy and just starting to poke through, so I didn't bother with pictures of them. More tales of amazing backyard transformation tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

good job!

Monique said...

Hey, I love your new blog! Keep the chicken and plant pics coming. Maybe I will start a blog, but not until I am done student teaching.

Post a Comment

OK, here's the deal on commenting: I love comments!

But it's more fun for me to know who is posting comments, and then I can leave fun comments on your site, too, whatever that may be.

Isn't that fun?

FUN, I say.

If you want to be all anonymous and elusive like that, I'm alright with that, but really, it's more fun my way.

Anyway, carry on with whatever you were going to say. Don't be shy. I don't bite, and I will love you forever for your comment.