Those of you who are tool-proficient will think nothing of this, but for this old granny, it was a major accomplishment and an adventure in using my new bag of power tools.
A few months back, I bought a set of cordless power tools so I could dismantle my lovely redwood raised beds at the community garden. But I never got around to it and the garden committee did it for me. My new tools sat untouched.
The reason why I had to remove my beautiful, one-year-old beds is that the landowner, Southern California Edison, disallowed raised beds. This has stifled my interest in gardening at the community garden so far this year.
The nice people on the garden committee even delivered the redwood boards to our home, because I don’t have a vehicle into which the boards would fit. My plan was to build a new raised bed where my Garden of Infinite Neglect sat in front, growing no vegetables.
An aside–I work at the Orange County Conservation Corps. The exterior bed borders for our plots were built by my Corps Members last year, and those outer bed borders are allowed to remain. I swear, there is no rhyme nor reason to Edison’s rules, since my inner bed borders are exactly the same as the outer borders.
I had watched my Corps Members build the borders and it didn’t look too hard. My husband built my raised beds at the community garden with a borrowed cordless drill, and I watched him too. I was pretty sure I could do this. I had the corner brackets, the screws, and the redwood already cut into the proper length for me to build a bed in our front yard. And I had a nice cordless drill that I could use to put in the screws.
Now you might be wondering about my last post on saving energy by making sun tea, juxtaposed with this post on using power tools. Hand tools are no longer an option for me because I’m pretty much crippled with arthritis in my hands and knees. I just don’t have the strength any more to put in a screw using a hand screwdriver. However, I was intimidated by my new drill. I had used a corded drill to both drill holes and put in screws, but never a cordless drill. Well, after reading some of Bee Girl’s posts about her Tool Girl, I decided that I could do it. So Tool Girl, even though we have never met, THANK YOU for your inspiration.
My husband carried the heavy bags of compost to the raised bed and dumped them for me.
This bed is my rejuvenated Garden of Infinite Neglect. It has languished for a couple of years, sadly neglected. I thought for a while about why that is, and decided that it is because the hose doesn’t reach and watering it is very ackward and unsatisfying. Well, there was a solution to that problem. I bought a longer hose! And a nice watering nozzle. Problem solved. (I hope.)
I planted some almost-ready-to-harvest transplants of Red Sails lettuce and Joi Choy Pak Choy (the same as bok choy?). Being an impatient sort and having gotten a late start on the season, I planted basil, yellow crookneck and yellow straightneck summer squash, and butternut squash from transplants instead of seeds. I know, shame on me. Squash are so easy to grow from seeds. The marigolds are also transplants.
I planted seeds of Tendergreen Burpless and Straight Eight cucumbers, Black-seeded Simpson lettuce, Scarlet Runner Beans, Lutz Greenleaf beets, Kyoto Red carrots, and Redhead radishes. I think that I planted some things too close together (like the summer squash), even though I have a string grid to go by. Oh well. I grow a Darwinian garden. Survival of the fittest.
I still have a few more garden chores to do at home, and then I will tackle my community garden plot. Spring is still springing at our house.