Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Making Our Bed

Ya gotta love a guy who gets all motivated by the activity next door and decides to build a raised bed for our tomatoes this year. The local paper had an article about how to build one, but no, that was pooh-poohed as not being sturdy enough to last his minimum requirement of twenty years.

This, of course, necessitated getting out the computer and drafting a plan of his own, which translates into the opportunity to use as many saws, drills, planes, levels and other tools as he possibly can. After myriad trips to the hardware store to get the cedar, screws and any new tools that might come in handy, he got down to the business of cutting the wood and assembling the materials to make the frame.

We had to wait a week or so for the weather and our schedules to clear, then we dug up the lawn, put the frame together and hauled in multiple bags of compost and manure, a solid afternoon of hard work that was rewarded with a very dry martini and toasts to the eventual harvest. The next day I planted two Cherokee Purple tomatoes, a Brandywine, a Green Zebra, a Black Plum cherry and an Isis Candy cherry, then surrounded them with their red Wall O' Water tomato teepees. The bases were scattered with basil and arugula seeds and watered liberally.

There's room for another bed next to it, which fits nicely into my plan to eliminate as much grass as possible and turn this patch of southern sun into a productive terraced garden. That and get rid of the arbor vitae and replace it with...oh, well, you don't need my whole list. I'll save that for another post!

Details: Dave's 20-Year Raised Bed plans available here.

13 comments:

Alan Bluehole said...

Where did you buy your walls of water? I want to try that this year.

Your bro censored my comment about foie gras.

kab said...

Walls o' water came from Garden Fever on 24th & Fremont. Cheap at $3.99 ea. We had a collapse during the rainstorm, but hopefully the little tomatoes will recover.

And the bro is sensitive about his foie gras, I have to admit. And, in the interests of self-disclosure, I love it, too. Amazing stuff and so worth trying! (Can we still be friends?)

Alan Bluehole said...

We can still be friends, but only if you'll let me hook you up to a feeding tube ;)

Isn't Garden Fever the coolest? I'm going there asap to stock up. Did you get your tom plants there too?

bb said...

Tell Dave nice job....can't wait to eat the results of your harvest.

And tell Alan I indeed did publish his comment as soon as I got it....in fact when I read it I got so hungry I had to order another slice of th delicious fattened goose!

bb

kab said...

Alan, you may as long as I can name the feed! Now to make a list...creme brulee? Chocolate mousse? A nice barolo? So many possibilities!

kab said...

BB...I'm sure you'll be getting plenty of the plenty. Can't wait for those Cherokees! Grow, little tomatoes, grow!

SEH said...

I figured out what happened to your collapsed 'walls of water' and MINE last night!! A big fat racoon was waddeling away from the scene of the crime early this morning as we left for work. The bugger's foot prints were in the mud around two collapsed tomatoes...he probably was hoping for an early harvest and took a peek at what goodies lurked inside the pretty tubes.
Little #@%%^^&@ER!!!
No major damage done though...and now we know it wasn't the wind!!!

kab said...

Those buggers! So it wasn't just my paranoid imaginings. A dastardly deed indeed! Maybe we can borrow some live traps from Nick down the street. He caught more than 20 at his place last year. Yikes.

Anonymous said...

The raccoons came back last night and knocked over 5 collapsed 'wall of water' Maybe we do need a trap. Is it one of those that actually kills the rodents or keeps them alive?

cmt said...

I think the racoon brought his buddies over last night. They knocked over 5 of our 'walls of water' Might have to see Nick about his traps.

kab said...

I ran into Nick yesterday. They're live traps, which means they don't harm the animal. They're kind of like a cage with bait in it. Nick said that in his experiments, chocolate chip cookies seemed to work the best. He also noted we'd be responsible for releasing any we catch. Guess we'll have to figure out where...

Corvallis Muffye said...

So, KAB, how about adding a post script about chisel safety?

kab said...

What MuffyE is referring to here is that while Dave was fitting boards for the second raised bed, the (very sharp) chisel he was using slipped and went through (yes, through) his hand. After a trip to the emergency room and eight stitches, he's healing nicely. The really bad news is that we now have to wait to set up the bed, and the plants won't get in as soon as I'd like. Boo hoo for me, right?