Building a New Garden



One thing about spring: It brings out the farmer in me.  There’s something about dropping seeds into freshly-tilled soil, joy bordering on elation when those first sprigs of life peep through, and then the pride of watching my garden develop into a veritable Eden, producing large, sumptuous vegetables and a dazzling array of beautiful flowers.  All right, that’s the glorified version; some would call it wishful thinking, others a flat-out hallucination.  The truth is, the rewards are there, but so is the work–ESPECIALLY if you are trying to carve a garden out of a well-established pasture.  My little piece of heaven is exactly that, with lush, thick grass that has been here for years and has no intention of going down without a fight.  To add to my dilemma, my shoestring budget allows for no tractor or plow–just a shovel, digging fork, rake, and hoe, all powered by my aging, arthritic back.

Well, the news isn’t all bad.  I’m still pretty strong and love to work outside.  Besides, this isn’t something I absolutely have to do.  I can do as much as I want whenever I want.  Having read a lot about the benefits of raised beds, I decided to go that route.  I had already acquired ten asparagus roots.  According to the directions these needed to be planted about 18″ apart.  By my calculations, I needed at least a 15′ strip; but wanting additional space on each end, I decided to go 17′ and to make the strip 3′ wide.

The first step was to dig out the grass.  I cut 3′ x 4″ strips which I then cut into 6″ pieces to make them easier to pull out and shake the dirt from, and continued working back and forth until I had my 17-foot-long strip.  As expected, I found a mat of roots.  I also discovered rocks of all shapes and sizes.  For the most part, the rocks were small and the digging went pretty smooth.  In places, however, I had to reposition my shovel three or four times before I could get the blade into the ground.  But the soil is dark and rich, somewhat gravelly, and abundant with earthworms.


While I was at it, I dug up another plot for potatoes and then reworked them with the poor man’s rototiller (digging fork).  It dug deeper than the shovel and I was able to break up the larger clods and ferret out more of the grass roots.


Finally, I took the rake and smoothed the soil as best I could, then pulled the soil from the sides into the middle to form my raised beds.  They’re still a bit rough–definitely a work in progress–but those little asparagus (in the top picture) make it all worth while!Raised beds

© KoppingAnAttitude, 2016  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.


3 thoughts on “Building a New Garden

  1. It looks amazing. I feel for ya about your tools being powered by you. It did make me smile…mine are powered by me too. Hahaha. How wonderful it would be to have a tractor. I saw the cutest bobcat that I would love to have. Sadly, out of my price range! Asparagus is a favorite of mine. I planted a few last year. Great photos! Happy gardening!


    • Thank you! These me-powered tools make for hard work, but the rewards are many. The fact that I enjoy good health and can still work like this feels fabulous, plus I’m very satisfied with the results. I just visited your blog and loved it! You have some great ideas that I am going to try.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Awe, you are so nice. Same here…good health is important. I mow my lawn for exercise even though I have a riding mower, I mow a good portion with a push mower. I know I spend a lot of time outside in the yard, but I like it much more than running 5 miles! Good exercise and love the sunshine! And when I can pick veggies I’ve grown myself…well, you know just how satisfying that is! Be well. Thank you again for the kind words. Koko:)

        Liked by 1 person

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