Screening A Garden

We were blessed over the weekend with one very beautiful day; perfect weather for outdoor work. The weather here has been a tad on the Bipolar side – shifting from ‘couldn’t ask for better’ weather, to blizzard conditions in the blink of an eye. I am beyond ready for the nice weather to set in and stick around a while…but who isn’t?
So, over the weekend we took advantage of the one very beautiful day and worked in the garden. I posted previously about the garden space and my big plans which include ripping out the planter boxes and removing the rock that was previously put down for the walkways.

We already moved out the top layer of rock; the rock that was nice enough (i.e. not mixed with a bunch of dirt) to be used somewhere else on the property. What we were left with was 2-6 inches, depending on what area of the garden we were in, of rock mixed with LOTS of dirt, on top of landscape fabric – which also needed to come up:

start

We pondered several ideas of how to attack this task.
1. Pull up all the rock, dirt, and landscape fabric and haul it off? This idea was then crossed off the list when we determined that to do the task without killing ourselves we would need to rent some large equipment AND find a place to dispose of the material. That expense, in addition to the expense of replacing ALL that soil was an indication that this wasn’t the most ideal plan.
2. Pull up the landscape fabric, leaving the rock and dirt behind, and buy several truck-loads of nice soil to top everything off? I worried that over time the rock would just work its way to the top, leaving us right where we are now, so this idea was also vetoed.
3. Put in all new planter boxes and pull up the landscape fabric, rock and dirt only in those areas? My heart really is in being able to till up, and plant, the entire space – I think J knew I wasn’t enthusiastic about this idea, so he helped to reject it as well.

We finally settled on a plan that is taking a little more time up front, but in the end is the best plan for our budget, and for gardens to come.

J built this screen:
screenscreen2
We are running all the dirt/rock through the screen – keeping the dirt in the garden and moving the rock to another space where it will live until we figure out what will happen with it permanently – pulling up the fabric as we go.

Here’s what the space looked like after all the fabric came up, the rock was screened out, and the dirt was spread evenly back over the space:
finished
We are a little more than half way through this leg of the journey. Here’s what we have left:

remaining
And here’s a look at the whole darn thing:

whole
My little arms nearly snapped off by the end of the day – seriously, this girl with the desk job isn’t cut out for running shovel for long periods of time – not without some whining anyway.

One more really nice day and we will have the remainder of the garden ‘screened’. Then I can get some really good compost mixed into the soil, and with any amount of luck, this baby will be ready for planting as soon as the weather decides it will cooperate for more than 24-hours at a time.
How are your gardening plans coming along? Are you like me and taking advantage of every second of nice weather you can get, in order to prepare your space for planting?

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4 responses to “Screening A Garden

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