I look almost daily on craigslist under free to see what I can get for the land. This week was a great score – 15 strawberry plants, amaryllis, mullein, holly hock and oregano! I was so excited when I heard back from the listing and was told that I could come and get them. The best part of it all was that I met two wonderful sisters – one is a master gardener and the other is a master naturalist. We exchanged tid bits, blogs and emails.
I had had part of the garden tilled, but with all the rain that we got this summer – much of the grass had grown back. I covered a good section with cardboard, but the grass still was not dead underneath – so I had to truly make a garden bed. This turned into an almost all day project with a nice break in the middle of the day. I am allergic to strawberries, but Stella loves them – so I had her help make the bed with me. I think she enjoyed it and learned a lot.
I will do some raised beds in the garden, but it is a 50×50 foot garden, so big and to do all raised beds would be expensive and really not necessary. So first I went walking around the property – it is amazing what I am finding in the woods! I found two cattle gates and that is what is being used for the gates of the garden and I have been finding posts everywhere. I had used most of the posts already in the fencing of the garden, but I remembered seeing some at the beginning of the woods, off the orchard – so I went in search of those. I found 3, but one of them I could not budge – will have to have someone help me the next time I have some strong backs around. The two I did drag out had some nails in the ends – so they were hammered out. These would be used for the sides and rocks would be used for the ends.
First picking the spot….
Next was digging up the area and turning the soil. This was hard work – then with a hoe – I broke up the soil and the clumps of grass. I then placed and leveled the fence posts and secured the rocks on the downward slope.
After all that was done – we pulled out all the grass with roots and the other plants – this is where Stella started helping.
Since this is a permanent bed I added some top soil and compost and then tilled that all into the bed. Stella is afraid of the hand tiller since she had a mis-hap with it and put it through her foot. Understandably she stays far away from it! While I was doing this, Stella was digging up rocks for the upside end.
It was time to plant the strawberries – this was done by both of us.
Next came the mulching. I did some mowing and dumped the grass clippings next to the bed and Stella mulched.
The bed was complete! Now we just have to wait for next year to reap the rewards – or I should say Stella needs to wait. If it is like our strawberry plants in NY – I will never harvests one strawberry – Stella will eat them right then and there when she see them – just like she does with the blueberry bushes!