It was a very productive weekend for the mud monkey family. We got a lot done in the back yard and after waiting four loooong years I finally got my raised garden beds in! I'm beyond ecstatic... possibly euphoric. I *LOVED* having a kitchen garden and it's been a long time in coming since we moved here that I have one again. I'm dreaming of beautiful fruit and vegetables next year. I'm drooling over seed catalogs and trying to figure out how I can cram all the things I want to grow into such a small space - I have four years to catch up on! For example I need purple carrots. Why? I dunno, cause now I CAN. lol...
I'm almost even more excited just about the fact that the weeds will be gone (at least in this section of yard). There's structure and purpose now! I'm really stupidly happy. Really.
So Friday DH took the kiddlet and went to borrow a garden tiller. When they got back he tilled up the blueberry bed then I asked if he'd till up the lawn where the raised beds would go someday ::blink-blink:: Little did he realize my plot to get them in this week. It worked better then I thought though as they're in there tonight! But I digress.
On Friday after he tilled the blueberry bed I did a soil test to see where the pH level was. For blueberries it needs to be acidic (4.5 - 5.0) but my test came out neutral (7.0). It seemed off to me. I assumed that this soil would be acidic as it sits under an evergreen tree that drops it's needles all the time. Plus with the higher amounts of rain we get here our soil tends to be acidic anyway. I was really surprised by a neutral reading. So I picked up a pH soil meter on Saturday and plunked it in the ground and also got a pH reading of 7.0. Oooookay. So I stuck it in peat moss (a highly acidic soil amendment) and got a reading of 7.0. I'm taking the damn meter back. lol... Ah well. I still don't know exactly what my pH is and I could have the county extension office run a soil test but that'd put me back $50 I don't have. So I crossed my fingers and added sulfate to the bed (an amendment that makes the soil more acidic). Hope I didn't over do it! Anyway it's done now! I know it doesn't look like much but those little bushes in the front will fill out 3' round and high. The two bushes in the back should get anywhere from 5' to 8' high and flush out as well. Once matured the yield should be about 10lb of berries a bush. *Almost* enough to keep kiddlet happy. The little blueberry junkie that she is. ;^)
The rest of our time was spent working on the building the beds... It went okay except for the point where we ran out of screws and it started raining on us. Oh, and it's cold. I think the warmest it got today was 56°, it just got colder as the afternoon wore on.
BEFORE & AFTER
There is still more to do of course - fill the beds with compost and other yummy amendments - till them up. Add a top layer of compost to the blueberries and then mulch them with bark mulch. Plan out next years garden... but I'll have all winter for that last bit. Mmmm seed catalogs here I come!