Assembling the raised garden bed kit was pretty easy. Filling it was something else. With three compost bins in service for more than a year, you’d think I might have plenty of lovely compost to use in my raised garden beds. I lifted the little door at the bottom of bin one and slid the shovel in. Out came some defiantly uncomposted leaves.
When I pushed deeper into the bin, the shiniest, sleekest, healthiest looking roaches I ever saw rocketed out in all directions. Having such an idyllic home probably keeps them from bothering with the house, but still… roaches. I smacked as many as I could with my shovel. Do roaches send out commandos? A smaller black bug ran up my leg. Flailing at it, I overshot the target and smacked my knobbly, arthritic left middle finger on the compost bin. Ow.
The finger swelled up and stuck out straight for the rest of the exercise. Bin two had a little more crumbly stuff worthy of the name “compost,” but it came out in tiny amounts. It must have taken a hundred shovelings to spread a modest layer over the bottom of the bed. Finally, time for the bags of soil Big, heavy bags of soil. Picked one up. Put it down pretty quickly. Solution: hoist two bags at a time into a wheelbarrow and wrestle it over to the bed, dump one in each half. Cut off the end and pour out the soil, which doesn’t necessarily want to leave the bag. Six bags.
Then I realize the bed isn’t going to get as much sun as I thought because of an oak. Phooey. It’ll just have to do. The new tenants will be asparagus beans and scarlet runner beans. They’re supposed to thrive in heat. That we got. I planted the seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in egg cartons, and the sprouts fairly blasted up through the potting soil, ready for a new, productive life in the wide world. At least, I hope so. There’s another bed to assemble. And my finger is still throbbing.