Thanks to a generous discount and donation provided by Superior Block we were able to purchase the needed materials to build the remaining two raised beds. (See our article about why we choose Superior Block Gardenstone in the October 2010 post.) Here we are on a beautiful summer morning breaking ground. Not bad attendance for 7am!
Later in the day, after a lot of shoveling and gravel hauling, we start the critical job of laying the base course.
The finished bed partially filled with the last of our compost (time for another pile!). We still need to custom cut the cap stones on the curved ends.
To protect the soil we covered it with a layer of straw mulch and seeded it with a summer cover crop of Buckwheat (shown below with seedlings just starting to peek through the straw). Buckwheat makes nice bee forage—if only for a little while—at the peak of flowering we'll scythe it down and mulch over it allowing the roots and tops to decompose in place and increase the soil's organic matter and nutrient content (we call this a green manure crop). Perhaps we'll plant a community crop of garlic in this bed in the fall.