Friday, May 8, 2009

Step 5 - Mulching the Path and First Plants!

Now that the border is in, it's time to keep our feet from getting muddy when we are watering and provide a means to remind the kids where it is OK to walk (OK, the adults, too!)

Almost Eden has some great folks volunteering their time and effort. They are more than willing to dispense expert advice and they were also willing to part with a few cubic feet of mulch.
From Chabot Terrace Community Garden

Jake and #2 victoriously proclaiming "Kings of the Hill!"

From Chabot Terrace Community Garden

Loading it into the farm truck - also known as the family van.

Mulch is just ground up trees, so most tree trimming companies will give it to you for free - but there is a catch. You have to take their whole truckload which is usually 15 cubic yards or roughly the size of a standard shipping container! We couldn't use that much mulch in 50 years, so we were glad to get a small amount "on the house". Thanks a bunch to Almost Eden.

From Chabot Terrace Community Garden

The mulch was laid down on the areas that were scraped clean for the paths. After a little settling and manual breaking up of the big branches, it laid down quite nicely. Jake and Brandy can walk on it with bare feet - the kids are a little less comfortable

From Chabot Terrace Community Garden

You'll notice that the first plants went in - some lavender bushes to provide visual punctuation and nice flowers.

Next Step - alfalfa meal and planting!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Step 4 - Adding borders and walkways

Now that the soil is nearly ready for planting, it's time to get the boundaries laid and paths established.

Keeping the zero cost goal in mind, Jake hit up the neighbors who just replaced some of their fencing for the left over redwood planks.
Using my grandfathers table saw, I ripped the planks into 3 to 4 inch wide borders. For the area adjacent to the sidewalk, we wanted to achieve a raised-bed feel, so we used full width board segments for the border. Since the sidewalk is curved, it was a great place to use up the 16" plank sections left over from the new fence build.

From Chabot Terrace Community Garden

To create walkways to allow access to the fully populated garden and also so we didn't waste the valuable conditioned soil for walking on, we scraped the areas for the paths down to the clay soil and heaped the soil up on either side. This created a raised-bed feel to our garden and established discrete areas for different plant types.

Next up - mulching the paths!