For those that don't know, we'll be starting a garden in 2013. Nothing major, just a small 4' x 4' garden. We've dabbled a bit in the past with growing things but never seem to have had much luck. So this will be our first "serious" attempt. Hopefully it can hold my attention through next winter and we can actually grow something beyond weeds.
Prep has been pretty slow but also very deliberate. William helped pick out the location of the garden with some general guidance by me. He also helped construct the raised box we'll be using (it was a cheap purchase from Home Depot). I added some weed fabric to the bottom in an attempt to keep most of the weeds at bay. Again, we'll see how that goes.
Anyway, this past weekend, he helped me mix the dirt. Which is to say, he watched me mix the dirt while he ate some pretzels and drank some water. I used the formula from Mel Bartholomew's All New Square Foot Gardening book. His formula is 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculite. So on a recent trip to Lowe's, I picked up the desired items and let them sit for a bit until I could mix them.
I used our little garden cart for mixing and just dumped everything in there. The peat moss and compost (or "poop" as my helped kept reminding me) were pretty thick and dense. The vermiculite was very light and helped air out the other parts. It kind of reminded me of kitty litter but much lighter. Almost like styrofoam balls.
Anyway, once it was mixed, I dumped it into the planter and spread it around. In a bit of a pagan ritual, my son and I were the first to water the dirt. He used water, I used beer. Hope it brings us good luck.
Here's the planter before adding the mix. It has a thin layer of mulch in the bottom to weight it down but to also keep the weeds out:
The vermiculite, peat moss, and poop all mixed together:
The final product: