I've been working in the terraced garden during all this beautiful spring-like weather. This is a sloped shady area under a large sycamore tree. Once upon a time this was a fenced in duck pen but now there are no ducks. So I decided to try growing a salad garden in the spot. The soil is rocky clay, terrible for planting anything, even grass never grew well there. Any time the soil was disturbed it would be washed downhill, exposing the roots of that beautiful tree. I decided terracing was the only way to keep the slope from washing out. Shortly after I decided this I found some raised bed kits on clearance at a local store. I bought several kits and set them far enough apart to give me some room for planting wide beds of crops. About the time I got some nice loose growing soil built up in the beds I found that there is something that loves to build tunnels through the area which killed anything planted in those lovely beds. Back to the drawing board. I ran across another incredible sale, this time large flower pots. They hold about 10 gallons of soil! So I set the pots in lines along the terraces and filled them with potting soil. It worked pretty well, if I had time to get anything planted. Last summer I had to quit my part-time job because of health reasons so this is the first year that I've had time to do much of any gardening in quite a while. Needless to say, I am very excited and hopeful for this growing season. There are 28 pots there. Sure they are ugly plastic pots in bright colors, mostly hot pink because those were on clearance at an unbelievably low price. It works for me.
I am surprised at how much potting soil breaks down over a year. Last year those pots were full, this year the soil level is around 6 inches below the rim. Again, time for experimentation. I took the wood pellet bedding from the rabbits litter pans and mixed in coffee grounds, ashes, potting soil and some coir fiber. I bought several bags of organic fertilizer (again, clearance sale) which I will sprinkle on top once crops are up and growing.
Since the soil is newly mixed it's workable. And the weather is perfect for cold tolerant crops. I've got half the pots ready for plating and already planted in some of them. Spinach, parsley, leeks, radishes, and lettuce are planted. Most of the seed was old stock and I'm not really sure any of it is viable. If nothing comes up I'll dump the rest of those packs and replant. If the seed sprouts and gets frozen at least I'll know the seeds are still good. If the seed sprouts and grows I'll have extra early salad fixings.
Once this garden is all set up I've got 3 others that need tending and planting. The worst one is the one that got eaten by black raspberry plants. 900 square feet of black raspberry plants. I do not look forward to that task. Maybe it will be workable by the 2030 gardening season.