Garden Expansion: Part 2

All done

For part one and a look at the original garden go here.

So now I have to talk about soil. In a raised bed I have found that a slightly sandy soil works best for drainage, but I live in the south where it is quite hot. I recommend checking with your extension service or such for their recommendations on pH and structure in the soil. Anyway here is how I filled the raised bed.

Lucky for me there was dirt to begin with

Since I am expanding the garden I had a good amount of excellent soil to start with, so the first step was raking it out evenly across the bottom of the bed. I then used more on the edges to reenforce the new stone walls. Next I added about 400 lbs of cow manure. (I lifted this with one arm.) If you know a farmer, it is a fairly easy to get, or it is available at most home-improvement stores. Usually I use my compost pile each year to fertilize the garden, but since I am expanding I took the opportunity to finally build a two-year compost system. This meant I needed manure.

Only ten more loads to go

I am fortunate to have a large wooded area behind the house with a creek/drainage ditch running through it. This gave me plenty of sandy soil on both side of the water. Again you can purchase fill dirt and sand from many garden centers etc., but free is always better. If there are no woods near your house try calling around to some builders or farmers. Or find a neighbor on vacation and leave them a surprise when they return. Just blame it on the groundhogs.

The final mix

In the end my soil mixture was about 60 percent dirt, 20 percent sand, and 20 percent manure with some ash from the barbecue thrown in. After the level was even with the top of the stone wall I just turned it all together and raked it out even. In a couple days I will plant my onions, garlic and carrots for the winter.

Don’t forget the fence

So then I built a fence to keep out the rabbits and the dogs.

That fence will never keep me out suckers

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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27 Responses to Garden Expansion: Part 2

  1. Cool! I was just rereading your first post, and I had to smile at your instruction to cut away the grass from the area you want to put the garden beds in. We took out the entire back lawn! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope to see part 3 and all your plantings! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. annashortcakes says:

    Your pup is gorgeous! And the new bed is nice too ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Love the stone wall.
    Looks like your pup has a scratch on the top of his nose – I wonder if that’s from trying to get through the fence…
    ๐Ÿ™‚ Mandy

  4. Misky says:

    Fabulous soil! I wish our soil was so lovely. We’re cursed with heavy clay.

  5. Mad Dog says:

    Good luck ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. You’re doing serious work in that garden, Greg, which reminds me that I must do the same …..sometime:)

  7. Eva Taylor says:

    I give your puppies less than a day to break into your garden! They are too smart for that fence! I can hardly wait to see what you plant.

  8. Itยดs looking great – letยดs hope it really is pup proof!

  9. nrhatch says:

    With one arm . . . while the other played the Star Spangled Banner on an Accordian, no doubt! ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Kristy says:

    Looks like a great garden to me. Can’t wait to see it when everything starts growing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Awww.. I love your dog!! So you are able to keep growing through the winter, I’m envious.. of your garden!!

  12. Good luck, it looks beautiful.

  13. It looks like your pup caught his nose on something and he looks like he could jump the garden fence – ha! Beautiful garden – love the rocks you use as a base – makes it blend it to the surroundings. Happy Friday:)

  14. Rachel says:

    Oh good for you! I look forward to next year’s harvest (if only in pictures… sigh…) Mmmmm!

  15. Lauren says:

    Lookin’ good! What kind of gate did you put in the fence? This is my eternal dilemma (and mine has to keep toddlers out, too).

  16. Nice job, Greg.
    You know the dog will go over it, right?

  17. I do like gardens built up by rocks. I hope your plantings flourish and dogs don’t decide they want a dirt spa!

  18. What a fantastic bed! Love the wall and the soil looks excellent. Next year’s crop should be good. Love the dog!

  19. Love your dogs inner monologue!

  20. I like the determination of your dog’s caption.

  21. That’s fantastic – we have that black clay soil – it’s murderous for plants. You did a great job – do you have a “real job” ? cuz you sure are busy with posts and gardens. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Keeping out the rabbits and dogs…yeah, right! A truly envious new garden spot, I must say.

  23. nancyc says:

    Haโ€“Love your dog caption! You’ll have to let us know if he does try to get in that garden bed!

  24. Pingback: Running Out of Cages | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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