Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Task and A Hatch

Our raised garden beds are going on 16 years old now. When built, we used wood we had available; not necessarily the best for the job. As a result, many of them are rotted beyond repair and in the last few years we've started to replace them.

This spring I marked eight of them that are in sad shape, and yesterday Papa Pea started work on one of them.

To start, he had to dig the soil out of the bed all the way around the frame. He tossed the dirt onto the top of the bed next to the one to be replaced.

The left-hand board had (for some reason) bowed way out on this bed. (That's Maisy, our granddog, diligently supervising the job.)

Yep, this side board would soon have had holes in it.

The boards meeting at this corner DO have holes in them!

Here's the new raised bed frame ready to be set in place as soon as the old one is pulled out. It's constructed from leftover Douglas fir we used for the floor joists when we put on our house addition in 2000.

Papa Pea had only an hour or so to give to the project yesterday afternoon but it will get finished up most likely tomorrow.

That's the task I wanted to write about today. Now, what's the hatch, you ask? Well, my current blog header photo will give a hint-hint-hint. It's of six of seven goslings hatched in 2010.

Mother Goose has been faithfully sitting on a clutch of eggs for the past month or so and this morning, there was one little yellow fuzzy head peeking out from under her! Don't know yet if that little guy is the only gosling and don't have a picture to show, but a final count and pictures should be showing up here soon.

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday!


  1. We have been thinking of doing raised beds. Do you put a barrier under all the soil?

    Looks like you have been busy with all the work going on around the farm.

  2. Ooh, ooh, fuzzy baby pictures! Try to get some and post 'em!

  3. Wendy - No, we don't put any kind of a barrier under the soil in our raised garden beds. The beds have at least a foot of really good soil on top of the not-so-good soil (lots and lots of rock!) we have in this area.

    The dead of winter up here is about the only time there's not much to do, other than regular chores, in the way of jobs outside.

    Chicken Mama - We'll get pictures to post as soon as we can. But as ornery as Father Goose has been during Mother Goose's incubation period this year, he may have a long range rifle out now to protect his offspring!

  4. Goslings! That's wonderful news. Having to replace garden bed frames though sounds like a real job of work. Glad your weather is cooperation though.

  5. Heehee I hopefully will move away before I have to replace ours! Of course, that's an expensive way to avoid work LOL!

  6. Leigh - Still only one gosling visible and Mother Goose remains sitting. More news tomorrow we hope. Hubby is giving a lot of thought to what kind of material we can use for the garden bed frames that will last FOREVER! It is not a fun job to keep replacing them . . . even when it's only every 15 years!

    Erin - BUT a move toward getting back to Minnie-soda! So I say hooray for that.

  7. What great beds! How many do you have in total? And how long did it take to build the "really good" soil, or did you load them up with the good stuff to start?

  8. Well "hello mother goose"get father a cigar!

  9. Love the raised beds! What size do you use? Aww babies!!

  10. BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We love babies....

    We have raised beds too, but don't frame them in...just keep piling stuff up, in a sloppy lasagna garden manner of things. Works perfectly.

    Very warm here, but the rains are nonstop, it seems, so there are only a few things in the ground so far. The Irishman is starting to keep telling him to relax...

  11. That new bed looks terrific!~ That should last a new, long time. And goslings? What is cuter? Nada!

  12. Melanie - We have 27 of the raised beds, each are 4 x 8. We had to start "gardening" on gravel with poor soil underneath so we ordered "black dirt" (ha! it left a lot to be desired!) to fill the beds and then started making compost (thanks to hubby who is the compost making king) that we've worked in every year. Now the soil in the beds is fantastic and chock full of earthworms! But we sure did struggle for a few years with the not-so-good soil.

    judy - Yay, cigars (bubble gum cigars, that is!) all around!

    Stephanie - Beds that are 4 x 8 work best for me. I'm short so it's a stretch to even reach the center of the 4' width to plant. I know 4 x 16 beds would use less lumber for construction and save pathways inbetween but I like the ease of getting between the beds without having to traverse the 16'. Legs are too short to step over the 4' width, that's for sure!

    Akannie - I tried the "boardless" raised beds for a couple of years but they didn't work for me. I had copious quantities of weeds always growing on the side slops. It's just funny what works for one person but not for the other. And obviously, we should all use the method that suits us! Hope your weather stabilizes. After fearing we'd have a dry spring because of lack of snow this past winter, we've had LOTS of gray, rainy days . . . like today again!

    Susan - Funny thing . . . when we plopped in bed last night, hubby asked, "Why are baby ducks and goslings cuter than baby chicks?" I had no answer, but they are!

  13. oooooooooo! Cant wait to see the yellow fuzz balls.

  14. Jane - Just put a post up showing the three we've seen so far.

    Hope your blasted migraine is gone now. :o\

  15. 16 years?!!! I think that sounds terrific that ya'll got so many years out of your raised bed frames before needing to replace them. Hope ours lasts that long. Love the way Maisy 'supervises'. She looks like she's a sweet dog. I bet Papa Pea enjoys her company too.

  16. Lisa - Yup, 16 years for some of them. But some have had to be replaced earlier in the last couple/few years, too.

    Maisy is a very sweet dog. Very much a "people" dog. She would be happy if she could be next to someone 24/7. If you sit down, she's on your feet!