Hello everyone! Jamie and I have been on vacation this week and it’s been really nice to have a break from the daily grind. It was our original intention to be in the Keys this week, but taking into consideration gas prices and the storm earlier this year we decided not to go. Jamie and I came to the conclusion we would rather put that money into the garden instead. We both agreed , although it would have been nice to spend time at a tropical resort, we could enjoy each others company just as well playing in the garden as we could lying on the beach at Key West. There is always next year. In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, Jamie and I are masters at finding bargains on plants. As a general rule we don’t buy anything unless it’s at leas 60% off and we prefer 75%. Due the recent treasure trove of 80 and 90% off deals we had found, the potted plants were building up so it was time to get them in the ground. We nurse them back to health, but they don’t really thrive until we plant them in their new homes. That being said, we decide to put in a new bed. I thought I would share the process we go thru when we create one. This is the latest of ten beds we have put in this year, this is one of the larger ones.
I drew up a diagram of our lot and from that decided where and how to place the beds. We start by laying out the shape on the ground with the garden hose. In this instance we had to extend it by tying a rope to the end of the hose. When we are satisfied with the shape of the new bed we take a can of white spray paint and draw out the lines on the lawn.
Next we cut out the shape of the bed and begin removing the grass. This is my least favorite part of the entire process. Jamie and I take shovels and slide them under the grass removing the sod and then we go back and shake all the dirt out of the grass and discard it. We have about four or five different types of grass in the back yard and a lot bare spots as well. This particular bed had several very large areas of gorgeous centipede grass. We were able to transplant it to most the bare areas in the lawn and so far it looks at if all of it is going to survive.
After all the grass is removed, we cut a trench around the perimeter of the bed about four to five inches wide and about five inches deep. Then we start the process of amending the soil with more top soil and composted manure. In this case we added eight hundred pounds of topsoil and four hundred pounds of composted manure. We don’t have a tiller, so we incorporate all this by turning the soil with shovels. Yes, it is a tremendous amount of work. Jamie and I both got a lot of blisters on our hands from this one. We just keep on going until we get done, then we spend the following day whining about how bad our hands hurt. We are both very determined gardeners.
Next we start placing all the plants around until I’m satisfied with where they will go. This is a time consuming process, because I’ll shuffle those things around in a hundred different arrangements until I’m satisfied with what we have. Then we finally plant them in the ground and put down the lines for the drip irrigation.
Once we are satisfied with the placement of the sprinkler heads, in goes the mulch. We spread out the mulch to cover the water lines and help hold in the moisture. We both like the way the small pine bark nuggets look, though it is frustrating because in times of extreme down pours of rain it tends to wash out of the bed some. After the mulch is spread, we sit back on the grass and admire out hard work.