Monday, May 21, 2012

Episcopal Children's Services Westside Garden

by Katie Salz

The build day for the Episcopal Children's Services Westside Garden was Friday, May 18th 2012. We had perfect weather, great staff support and wonderful volunteers. We couldn't have asked for more!

First thing in the morning we spent time finalizing the layout of the beds. Each bed was 12' long and 2' wide, to be sure that toddler hands could reach into the middle of every bed. We found the sunniest spot in the garden, and put the cardboard out to mark the spot of each bed. Cardboard is a simple and easy weed blocker, and it also helps condition the soil as it breaks down. The idea of using cardboard as a weed blocker and soil builder is part of a larger concept known as lasagna gardening. Folks who practice this type of gardening don't find themselves worrying much about tilling, weeding or amending the soil.
Even Oprah was impressed by lasagna gardening! The folks at Home Grown Food in Colorado created this detailed picture to show the materials that can be used for lasagna layers. It's great if you can bring all these layers to your bed, but don't worry if you don't have access to all of these materials.

After a quick lunch break we went back to finish screwing the beds together and dropping them in place. To help the beds retain their integrity we placed one 4"x4" post in each corner of the bed. We dug holes for each post so that beds were anchored into the ground. Using what we had on hand, we spread a thin layer of mulch over the cardboard to help fill the gaps where the uneven area kept the bed from resting flat on the ground. The soil will be delivered soon and then the fun of planning and planting can begin!