Travis and I have been slaving away on this raised garden dealy. It took Travis three trips in his truck to get the garden all filled up. The bottom third is rock, then a layer of mulched leaves to prevent the soil from quickly falling through the rocks, then two layers of dirt. The top layer has compost mixed in. For some reason, Travis did not want to use our compost yet. It's all degraded and ready to go, but he wanted to save it to mix in the soil for fertilizer later.
Here's how we did it:
Travis stood in the truck bed (or trailer, as in this photo) and filled a bucket full of rock or dirt. Then he dumped it over the fence into the wheelbarrow, which I pushed up that plank and into the garden bed.
Here's the final product (minus the plants) and our full compost pile (to the right):
When Travis picked up the final load of dirt, he borrowed a trailer so he could also bring home half a ton of gravel. We've had a couple puddles forming in our driveway the past few years that needed filling in. Muscle man took care of that all on his own, without even getting a hernia. Now I feel super tall when I back out of the driveway and wait for cars to pass.
Tuesday evening we proceeded to plant all our seedlings. Like I said days ago, I know were are late in the season for this, but it's still worth a try. Hopefully they keep growing to produce veggies for us. We have lettuce, carrots, onions, cucumbers and lots of tomato plants. We also got some dill and cilantro from the Ramby's overflowing garden.
Also that evening, we took some time to cut down our pampas grass. We planted it in the summer of 2008 and it has exploded in growth since then. We knew it was supposed to be cut down every year, but we didn't do it for a while because we wanted to make sure the plant was established before we trimmed it back too much. After a year or so, we never trimmed it because we didn't know what time of year to do it.
Travis finally took the time to look up when this trimming should take place. Google said somewhere from the middle to late winter. Since are are past winter and working our way into spring, we know we are late (as we are with everything in our yard), but we went ahead and cut it to a foot tall anyway. As we were staring at the two forlorn reed stumps, I had a moment of fear that they wouldn't grow back. The following day, our neighbor voiced the same concern. The grass has already proven us wrong by growing three inches in just over two days.
I found out, soon after planting the grass, that the reeds cause a nasty sting when it brushes across skin. (On a quick internet search, I also just learned that it is deadly if swallowed. Note to self...) I wore long sleeves, pants and gloves to tackle this task, but Travis only wore a t-shirt. Of course, I got a lash across the face because it was the only uncovered patch of skin. Travis' arms were covered with angry red lines by the time we headed inside.