Saturday, February 20, 2016

Doin the garden aerobics!

It's that time of year again.  Time to begin the process of preparing the garden for the upcoming season.  We've had a few mild days in the 60's and so I'm taking my opportunities when they come.  Let me tell you building raised beds with concrete blocks is a workout!  Unlike building with boards, concrete blocks require preparing a spot with each block and adjusting as needed.  Especially when you have to remove excess mortar from the blocks previous use.  Such is the case with these.  Lots of lifting, hammering, shoveling, etc.  Then when you finally get everything set, you need to prepare the soil inside the bed.  In my case I'm adding some sand, chicken manure, and organic material to each bed, mixing in with a shovel or pitchfork as I go.  I finally finished building the latest bed, and started the second..  I counted the blocks I have left and have enough for two more beds of like size (One of which I have now started).  This will give me a total of seven concrete beds.  There are many advantages to these beds.  Like regular raised beds, it allows me to work in the garden without having to trample the area around the plants.  This will cut down considerably on the amount of tilling I'll need to do.  It also makes weed control easier.   Less water will be used as well.  It will also cut down on the amount of conditioning/fertilizing needed because instead of having to cover the entire garden, I will only have to do each bed.  In the fall I plan to only have to cover the bed with black plastic to put it to bed.  Between each bed I'm laying down black plastic and covering that with rocks for a walkway.  Here is a pic from last years garden when I just had 4 beds.  This will give you an idea of what I'm taking about.  I can't wait until I have my entire garden in raised beds, but it is a bit at a time.

The new bed is now located to the left of the left front bed seen in this picture.

The blocks I got from a friend, but then I think you already knew that!  The rocks for the walkway are ones I have dug up over time as well as some broken concrete block and the mortar that I've knocked off.  My goals is to one day have my entire garden as raised beds.

The point of the title of my post is obvious.  Anyone who says I did not get exercise today is delusional.  Every muscle in my shoulders, arms, and hands is at the end of it's functionality and I'm sure to be sore tomorrow.  My legs aren't as bad, but I can tell there was plenty of squats and lifting going on.  One does not have to get on a treadmill to get a workout.  Just be active!  Move each day.

So feeling sore and tired, but in a good way, I anticipate  the upcoming gardening season.  Still more to do!

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