Thursday, June 13, 2013

Am I Out Of My Gourd?

For years I have wanted a gourd garden.   It may seem strange, but it is what it is.  Well I am glad to say that this, my friends, is the year.  I only have one sunny spot to plant a garden so picking the location was easy.  You can see I got an early morning start almost before the sun was even up.

I had picked up 2-1"x 8"x 12' pieces of cedar at Home Depot to make a raised garden frame.  The guy was kind enough to cut them in half for me so they would fit in the car.  It was perfect since I planned for the long side of my frames to be 6 feet.  When I got home I marked 2 of the 6 foot sections at 4 feet to make the short ends of my garden bed.

My dad lent me his circular saw to make the cuts so I wouldn't need to buy one.  More money for the project, right?

I actually cut both boards at one time easily.

I laid the boards out to get an idea of placement.  I would need to be able to get the lawn tractor all the way around so I didn't want to be too close to the yaupon growing on the side.

Then I weeded.  And weeded.  And weeded.  Okay, it wasn't that bad.  Our soil is very sandy so the weeds came out fairly easily.

Then I turned the dirt to get it nice and loose.

All that was left was screws to put it all together and a level to . . . well . . . get it level.

I used 2" x  2" posts in the corners.  I hammered them into the dirt and then screwed the sides into those.

I raked through the dirt and pulls some roots that I missed the first time.

Ready for the next step?  I know this is a long post, but let's keep going.  I picked up the following at Lowe's (I am an equal opportunity home improvement store shopper) to make a good soil mix.

6 cubic feet of top soil
3 cubic feet of peat moss
4 cubic feet of mushroom compost
1 8 quart bag of vermiculite

This morning (again super early) In my wagon,I mixed a third of the soil, compost, and vermiculite until it was well blended, then dumped it into the frame.  With a shovel I dug down about 8 inches into the sandy dirt below and turned it all together.  I added a third of the peat moss and mixed it by hand to really incorporate all the variables.

I took a picture half way through my mixing and blending to show the difference.  The dirt on the left is what was there when I started, the dirt in the middle is my mix before turning with the existing dirt, and on the right is what it looks like when it is all incorporated.

Now the dirt is all blended and light.  The plants are going to love this.

I added a soaker hose at this point using an around the house item to help me hold it in place.

After running water through the hose to see how much coverage I got, I decided to move the hose.  It's much better now.  I also cut the end off the hose so it isn't too long and clamped it until I can get back to the store for a new end piece.

I know it doesn't have any plants in it yet, but honestly I'm bushed.  Tomorrow is another day.  I'll get my gourd seeds planted, and maybe a few others as well.