* See update below*
Now was time to make the beds. The plan is to make seven 3’x15′ beds separated by 2′ wide paths.
Here is the planning grid.
The shaded area are the paths, unshaded the beds. I want raised beds so we will shovel the paths and move the material to the bed on the right. This should create raised beds of decent material.
My friend was able to identify what likely broke the tines off off the tiller. A steel 2′ i-beam mounted vertically in a column of cement. It took me about 15 minutes of shoveling and sledging with an 8 pound maul until I was able to get it out of the way. I guess you’ll never know what you will find.
Anyway, with the tiller repaired, we went over the plot again. More rocks! It’s amazing, I wonder if somewhere there is the former landowner laughing in their grave, maybe we’re trying to till a former driveway. The bed although rather small definitely has different soil within its boundaries, while a large portion is very nice the upper center section is extremely rocky and primarily clay. Having had good luck amending soil before, I turned to adding peat to the plot. We added 12 2.2 cubic foot bales of peat moss – that’s 26 cubic feet of fluffy goodness.
We tilled that extra material in and then it was time to start shoveling the paths. Ugh! Rows 2 and 3 were brutal. That’s right – more rocks. The homeowners wife paid me a compliment -“You are so systematic about setting up garden beds”. – Yes, yes I am. Hopefully the work will produce (ha a little veggie humor for ya!). We kept at it, digging paths putting the material on the bed to the right.
On the paths we put wet newspapers which we will then cover with straw – the theory being keep weeds and mud at bay on the paths as well as being compostable at the end of the season
Finally we persevered and here are the results, I love it when a plan comes together.
As I review this old post, I would only change one thing. I suggest you run beds parallel to the contour run off from rainfall.
Looks pretty good to me! See those blue barrels? – Another project – rain catchment!