Archive for raised beds

planting before take-off

My friendly neighbor Dave applies weather-proofing to the raised bed frames while I plow through the soil with bare hands trying to remove as many stones as possible. I want to get the beds ready for the winter rains before taking off to the Caribbean. After covering the beds with straw I plant a few kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts seedlings and put in fava beans everywhere else. I also put two olive trees in the strip of land along the curb.

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building raised beds

Before dad returns to Germany I use his help to build raised beds. All the materials are recycled and free. They are:

  • four reused pressure-treated 2 by 8 boards of 12 and 13 foot in length (free off craigslist)
  • several old and weathered beams of various size and length (found next to the curb)

Putting the frames together was easy. The harder part was leveling the ground and filling the beds. The excess top soil in my yard is sandy and full of stones but I hope mixing in enough horse poop will give decent soil. At the ranch where Karleen keeps her horse we load up my Vibe with as many buckets and boxes of horse manure as fit. After two trips (each time being literally “full of shit”) we have a solid 5 inch layer of poop. The rest gets filled with excess top soil. Next? Picking out the stones, covering the beds with straw, and planting a cover crop (Fava beans?) to prepare the soil for planting in spring.

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craigslist treasures

Last night i picked up 4 wooden planks in san ramon that someone was giving away for free on craigslist. Eventually those will become the sides of my raised beds. To fit the 13 foot planks into my vibe I had to leave the back window open. I attached my headlamp in red-blinking-mode to the end of the planks because there was a 4 foot overhang. Fortunately it was late and there was little traffic on I-580. Craigslist is such an amazing resource for finding recycled materials.

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