Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Love The Smell Of Compost In The Morning

The past couple days were spent building a second raised garden bed. We built our first garden bed last year using cinder blocks as a border, some of our own compost and mushroom compost we purchased from a local dirt and gravel place. It worked so well that we used the same design this year with only minor modifications. We had to shorten the length by one block because of the space we had available, so it is 15.5 inches shorter. We had a lot more compost this year because we just had more time to build up compost this time around and we had lots of chicken-manure/straw compost from the chickens. We got a deal on a couple of bags of steer manure the local farm store was trying to clear out over the winter, so we added one to each garden. We built the new bed perpendicular to the first bed running alongside the driveway so it runs north-south instead of east-west.

The first plot was just over 22.5 feet by 4 feet; this one is just under 21.5 feet by 4 feet, giving us a total of about 176 square feet or roughly 40 4-foot rows for veggies. Of course, we won’t be planting 40 uniform rows, but you get the idea. The wife and I spent the last couple evenings playing Risk with our son until his bedtime and then looking over what seeds we have and making plans for this year’s garden. We’re going to get a much earlier start than last year because the weather is so much milder and also because we have a better idea of what to expect here. Last year we were more conservative, but this year we are going to start early and rotate the fast yielding veggies like radishes and lettuce so we get a more steady supply longer. We’re also going to plant marigolds and herbs along the border in the cinder blocks this year – something we had planned to do last year but never did (though we did grow herbs in a planter).

Truth be told, we could have easily built the raised bed in one day rather than two, but we like to sleep in and we don't like to work too hard if not required. We also prepped last year’s garden for this year’s planting, so that took some time as well. There are a few rows of carrots we planted late last year in a fit of over-optimism that actually survived the winter, so we thinned those out and let them keep going. We’ll see what happens.

In the meantime I am down to six units in Greenland and my wife just tore through Asia and Europe. I hope our garden strategy goes better than my game strategy. When we sit down to continue our game of Risk tomorrow it’s my turn first. I wish I were getting more than three reinforcements…

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