A garden is the best alternative therapy.

I got up early and measured the boards to make two  more raised beds.  I didn’t want to wake anyone at 8 AM with the sound of a circular saw, so I decided to wait to cut the boards down.  For the 3′ x 6′ bed, I used two eight-foot sections of 2″ x 12″ untreated wood, which I marked to cut each at six foot.  Then I used three leftover eight-foot sections of 2″ x 4″, cut down to six sections 3′ 4″ each.  The 2×4’s will be stacked three-high on each side to complete the frame of the bed.  The other bed is 3′ x 3′ square, so I used two more sections of eight-foot 2″ x 12″ wood, cut into four sections 3′ each.  After everyone was up and about, I turned on the saw and cut all the sections.  Then I used a box of galvanized 2 3/4″ nails and nailed all of the sides together.  After finishing the frame, I installed a steel corner brace on every inside corner, top and bottom, for reinforcement.  The boxes are huge, now that they are complete!

I had already planned the layout of the garden, as drawn below.  The larger bed will house three different types of lettuce, parsley, two types of carrots and spinach.  The smaller box will be used exclusively for producing broccoli.

sketch of garden plan

sketch of garden plan

Now that I’ve got the frames built, I need to take them to the backyard and start digging.   Unfortunately, it’s now 11AM and the temperature is already nearing 85 degrees.  The area I’ll be putting the bed down on will start getting shady after 2 – 3 PM, so I’ll wait until then to dig up the sod and install the beds.   I picked this spot for precisely this reason.  It receives the most protection from the late afternoon sun.  Plus, it is the same side of the house as the herb garden, which did well very well this summer despite the heat.

While I was waiting for everyone to get up this morning, I decided I needed to do something with an empty corner of the yard, which receives sun from 1 – 6PM.   I want to eventually plant some flowers and possibly put in a birdbath, but for now I thought I would do something with all of the mint cuttings I have.  So, I planted at least twelve spearmint cuttings along with three transplants.    Some of them were just 2-3 inch sections of stem that had grown water roots, and I simply buried them entirely under an inch of dirt.  They should root and push right up.   If all goes well, those plants will take over that corner of the yard.

a small corner of the yard, soon to be a jungle of mint

a small corner of the yard, soon to be a jungle of mint

I also re-potted some kalanchoe blossfeldiana cuttings I’ve had growing for awhile.  Kalanchoes are considered succulents, but they produce some beautiful clusters of pink flowers (our are pink).  They generally bloom in the spring and fall, and once they get blooming, they really put on a show.   I have a total of six cuttings that are well-established in potting mix, so I re-potted them in two different pots in groups of three.   I have another three cuttings I’ll be able to re-pot hopefully next week – one of them I still have to harden off because it’s still sitting on my kitchen window sill.

six repotted kalanchoe clones

six repotted kalanchoe clones

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