To continue working on the low raised bed in the old kitchen garden, I couldn’t use the mini chainsaw any more – the batteries just don’t last long enough for a job like this.
It was time to break out the electric chain saw. It’s very handy. The only problem is that I was moving around so much to reach the corners, the extension cord was in the way.
It still made the job much easier and faster. There was one log that was so bumpy, I spent more time trying to smooth it out than all the rest of the work put together!
You can see in the background that the kittens had been playing in the soil on the tarp, spreading it out quite a bit!
The whole thing wasn’t very stable, though. Something needed to be done to stabilize it, so it wouldn’t fall apart when the soil was added.
I decided to sacrifice some of the plastic coated metal stakes that I’d used to hold hoops supporting netting over the spinach bed.
I used an auger bit to drill holes into each corner of the bed, then hammered in a length. A couple had to have excess length broken off, but I think the other two actually went all the way through and into the ground below.
This made the whole thing quite sturdy. Now I could start filling.
On top of the wood chips I’d added earlier, I added some of the contents of our compost pile. Vegetation, apple pieces from straining the apple cider vinegar, coffee grounds, and even a few eggshells went in.
Next was a layer of dry grass clippings. One of the logs at the end had a fair bit of space under it, so I stuffed it with some grass clippings, too. Then it all got a thorough soaking before the soil was returned.
Once the bed was full, soil was added around three side of it, to fill in the gaps left from digging out a larger hole than the bed itself.
Which, of course, a kitten promptly tried to use as a litter box!
Finally, some grass clippings were added to mulch the top, and it got another thorough watering. I was also able to clear off the stepping stones at each end.
This bed is now done, and ready for planting next year.
My next job will be to try and weed along the whole side of this garden, before we start figuring out the low wall we want to edge it with (my daughter wants to use rocks – we have lots of those!) and top it up with some of the leftover sifted soil. The next bed I want to work on, though, is the L shaped bed that goes around the double lilac. Even if it only gets a supporting wall on the inside of the L shape, that will help. Trying to work about that lilac bush is a pain, and there are so things trying to grow into the space from there. We’d already tried to remove so many roots over the past couple of years, but it’s just getting worse! As with this bed, the L shaped bed will be only 2 feet wide, except possibly the tip of the short part of the L shape, where it can be accessed from three sides and is already wider than the rest of the bed.
Little by little, this garden will eventually have all walled, low to middle height raised beds. I was wanting to make this our kitchen garden, with things like herbs and salad vegetables that get used the most often over the summer, in here. My younger daughter wants to make it into a flower garden. Considering most herbs have lovely flowers, I’m sure we can come up with a compromise. 😊
Speaking of my younger daughter, when I was done working here, I helped my daughter out with her project.
By stealing kittens.
You’ll notice one of them has yellow paws. My daughter was painting the water bowl shelter, and that kitten would NOT leave her alone! The only way to keep him out of the paint was to put him on her shoulders – which means her skin and the tank top she was wearing got paint, too!
The first coat is done. The underside won’t need another coat, except for the legs. She was able to crawl inside and paint there, too. Carefully, as the roof is resting on bricks to hold it off the ground, and it’s not particularly strong. I think she even got the floor done, as well as the underside of the roof. After the legs and walls get a couple of coats, we’ll flip it right side up again to do the roof and whatever else can be reached at that point.
I’m surprised more kittens didn’t end up with paint all over them. They really, really love playing in this thing! Once it’s done and set up with the water bowls, they’ll have three roofs they play on. 😁
When I picked the colour, I tried to get a yellow as close as I could to the colour used on the kibble house. I couldn’t remember where we’d bought the original paint from, so I figured it was a different brand’s colour and would be slightly different. My daughter remembered that we bought it at Canadian Tire, too. It turns out I really did pick the exact same colour! We used up an entire gallon on the kibble house, but the water shelter is smaller, so we should have enough left over to do the tree stump bench out by the main garden area, too.
It feels good to have visible, tangible progress done! A lot of the fall clean up work doesn’t look like a lot got accomplished, because things get taken away, rather than added.
Little by little, it’s getting done!