Hrm. The plants are all in pots, but the front yard still needs to be cleared. It appears that we either need to wait until next weekend when dad gets here with the truck to get a powered sod cutter, or rent a non-powered one – which I’m told is a lot more work; my dad actually said that he’d opt to dig it by hand instead of use a non-powered sod cutter – sometime this week. We don’t want to just rototill the sod into the dirt because the “lawn” is actually mostly weeds and we don’t want to give them a head start to disrupt the new plants. Cutting out the sod won’t completely eliminate the weeds, but it will at least make it less likely that they’ll come through right away (and yes, we’re putting down some gardening fabric to block them further as well).
Also, just because I’m not sure I’ve clarified, we’re clearing the sod out because we’re just replanting the front yard; the raised beds are actually in the side yard where we took out all the bushes last year. We have been warned not to try to plant in the soil where the bushes were because those type of bushes apparently turn the soil very acidic. So the solution is to build the raised beds, which will allow us to plant over that spot and give me room for a veggie garden.
On that subject, the rock plan for the beds just isn’t going to work. It’s (a) a bit pricey, and (b) too much work. Essentially, we’d be getting four loads of different materials and paying for delivery for that would be exorbitant; the alternative is to pick it up ourselves, which would require no less than 8 round trips in my dad’s pick up. Since the suppliers is about 20 miles from our house, that’s.. well.. more than I’m willing to pay and/or drive.
So, Plan B will be to put the sod we cut from the front yard (great suggestion, Cathy!) into the bottom of the beds to take up some space and feed the worms and then fill the rest with a mixture of black dirt, compost and sand. The supplier we’ve found will mix the black dirt & compost for us and deliver it – we’ll be getting 6 yards total (and can I tell you how long it took me to figure out just exactly how much a “yard” is?) – and then we’ll mix in some bags of sand here to “taste”. Since we’ll be finishing building the rest of the beds next Saturday or Sunday, I’m planning to have the dirt delivered Monday or Tuesday. Of course, at the moment the long term forecast shows rain next Saturday through Tuesday, so that plan might change..
Which really, would be okay as long as we can control when the delivery of dirt comes, because we also need to finish the bathroom floor. I started laying tile this weekend and have about half of it finished. I need to pick up more tile cement stuff tomorrow so we can lay the remaining two full-tile rows this week. Dad will help cut the tiles around the door and along the one wall that needs 3/4 tiles, which is also where we’ll need to cut tiles to go around the toilet. Once the floor is in, we’ll move the vanity out of the dining room (finally!) and install it, and put the toilet back (I can’t wait.. I’ve so missed having a toilet upstairs in the middle of the night). We’ll still need to do the trim around the room – which will likely mean we’ll have to disconnect the sink to pull the vanity back out – but we’re pr’bly going to wait on that for now because we haven’t decided what kind of trim we want in there yet.
In other news (back to gardening), our neighbor from across the street came over to pick up some raspberry bushes this afternoon. We still have a fair number of them, but I’d say she took about half of what was out there, which is sort of nice. I’m re-thinking the plan of keeping any – they’re just a bit too much maintenance for something we don’t really use. In any case, the rest will get dug up the end of next week for delivery to folks up in the Cities who want them and/or transplant to the back of the fence. Then we’ll RoundUp over that spot to try to kill any remaining raspberries and re-seed the spot with grass in a couple weeks.