Here is the before picture of the garden area.The first order of business was to till this area up and loosen the soil.
As discussed in a previous article, we had someone deliver a load of mink poop that had been composted with pine shavings for 3 years.
Marisa called her brother ( a landscape architect one of our contributors) Cameron and he gave us the equation to figure out how much compost we would need. Our first plot is 15 ft x 25 ft which is 375 square feet. We decided that we wanted 6" of compost. Using the information on yesterday's post we calculated how many cubic yards we needed to add. (375 square feet *.5)/27=6.94 square yards of compost. This seems like a lot of compost, a but we considered it an investment that would pay off. Then we loaded the compost into our wheelbarrow and added it to the tilled garden area. Using a rake we spread it out about 6 inches deep throughout.
Next we tilled the 6 inches of compost in. We are trying a wide row method in this plot. Our rows are 2 feet wide and since we have a lot of space we made rows that were about 10 inches wide. We raked all the dirt from the paths into the raised rows so they are about 6 inches higher that the surrounding area.
Our goal with this plot is to refrain from tilling. Now that it is dug up and loose, we will probably just continue to add mulch and compost as our backyard farm produces waste. As we add this material our expectation is that our soil will get better and better without having to be tilled up each year.
As a side note, it is still pretty cold at nights here in Utah so we haven't planted our starts for fear of them being damaged. Where are you in the process of getting your gardening?