Today I built my vegetable boxes– four 4×4 foot boxes made out of cedar 2×8 inch planks, attached at each corner to a 4×4 inch cedar post. Go me! Looks like I will have my garden shortly after all. (You can see our yet to be planted 6-way espalier apple tree and our 4-way cherry tree too in the picture below.)
Thing is, our progress with the yard got completely derailed after last weekend’s hail storm when Dan got stuck in the mud in our backyard with a tractor, basically ripping up the entire backyard, and leaving huge tire tracks. If you think our yard was a bumpy muddy mess before, you should see it now! It looks like the aftermath of a mudslide/earthquake, and that one mean stump is now *on* the ground instead of being *in* the ground. And this is *after* i have spent both of this week’s sunny days raking and moving dirt by hand all around the yard. Oh, and get this– I don’t have any decent gardening tools, so I have been using Munchkie’s gardening tool set! If you’re in the market for a set for your kid, I do recommend these– they are apparently very durable!
Other than that, I also have been spending some time getting our worm bin going. This has mainly involved shoveling out half rotted compost from our Earth Machine that I never turn or aerate to use as food for the pound of worms I bought from Northwest Red Worms. I also bought a medium cedar chest for the worms to live in, and have slowly been adding bedding (straw) and compost to it as well as some fresh kitchen scraps. I can already tell that this way of composting is so much less smelly than a rot pile.
And speaking of fancy housing for our pets, after Dan is done working on the coop (he is adding the final touches like the cedar shingles, windows and doors as we speak, and then it will go on the new 13W x 3D x 4H chicken run that we also built this week) I want to make some Mel’s Mix– 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 compost. I’ve been asking almost everyone I get a chance to talk to about gardening if they have heard of the Square Foot Gardening method, and so far no such luck. Yesterday when I visited Metro’s demonstration garden to get some ideas for natural gardening, the woman there huffed at the idea that you don’t have to weed more than once or twice per season with this method… I hope to prove her huff wrong.
Some quick math: 4 x 4 x 4 x 2/3 = 42.67 meaning I need just shy of 43 cubic feet of Mel’s Mix, which means about 14 cubic feet of each ingredient. I have peat moss in 2.2 cu ft bags, vermiculite in 3.5 cu ft bags and compost in 1.5 cu ft bags. So I need 3.5 cu ft of each ingredient per box = 1 bag vermiculite, 1 1/2 bags peats moss, and 2 1/3 bags compost per box.
I can’t wait to plant some stuff! I am so excited to grow my own food! Off I go!