So, you may recall that I posted here about the plans for my raised bed garden. Well, today's post is mostly about the absolutely INCREDIBLE effort my parents put in to help me realize a huge portion of that plan. We completed the entire top quarter section consisting of 14 raised beds!! This would have taken months of work without their effort, and there is just no way for me to fully express my gratitude for their time and effort.
The area that we began to work in was thick and high with weeds. I don't just mean a few dandelions here and there. I mean a full on assault of weeds. The majority of it was prickly lettuce and lamb's quarters, along with a lot of daisies, some sort of bindweed, loads of grassy weeds, and some enormous sorrel plants thrown in for good measure. Most of it was between 18 inches and 3 feet tall. It was very dense and difficult to walk through in some areas. Here's a picture showing some cleared area in the foreground and uncleared behind it. All weeds. All of it. (except the grapevines on the far right). It was
After some major sessions removing weeds and feeding them to the goats and sheep, my Dad and I took careful measurements. He had been building some 8 by 4 foot beds that were 10 inches deep. I'd purchased the lumber before they arrived and since the weather had been somewhat uncooperative (i.e. raging thunderstorms), he'd spent time assembling these beds.
After we measured, we placed the first set of beds. My Mom then helped us lay cardboard flat inside them to block the remaining weeds at the bottoms, and then we began to fill them with layers of composted manure, decomposing straw, and a topsoil/compost mix. The cardboard is at the bottom and will decompose over time while preventing the weeds from coming up.
Throughout their visit, whenever the weather was clear for a while (and believe me, that was a bit of a challenge), we would all go out and work on the garden. The progress was steady and before long, it was really starting to look good!
Here you can see that the front beds have already been seeded, and then had a generous sprinkling of llama
The next phase of the
Here you can see
Raised beds are soooo much easier for weeding and seeding than working in the
Here's a rather dramatic looking picture that my Dad took showing a retreating storm in the distance and the raised beds in the foreground. That sky isn't dark blue - it's the deep grey-blue of an Iowa thunderstorm,b ut the greens are bright because the sun is beginning to emerge from the opposite direction (i.e. behind the photographer). We saw this view almost daily, it seemed. But, it was great for seeds!
And THANK YOU to my fabulous parents, without whom none of this would be in place. Seriously, I have the best parents anyone could dream of, and I love them dearly for who they are and all they do.
Garden bliss is mine!