Tony cut the last pieces needed to complete the strawberry bed, and we started to screw boards onto the frame work. About two boards in, the battery for the drill died, so he had to get the back up and put the main one on to charge. Literally three screws in to the second battery, it died too. Well, so much for that project.
To kill time while we waited for batteries to charge, Tony cut all the wood to make all six of the potato towers. By then the second battery indicated it was charged (weird, but ok).
We got the last boards onto the strawberry bed, and realized we needed some more supplies. We needed more river rock for the bottom level, and the end of the walkway was uneven, so we needed to buy some braces. Off to Menards we went.
I threw some compost and manure in the new potato tower, and planted the two pounds of Purple Viking potatoes I had ordered online a while back. There was a grand total of eight little spuds in there, each starting to grow. I planted them whole. The idea being that you should hold back your biggest and best for seed, and with potatoes, the plant grows from the nutrients in the seed potato. If you cut it into smaller pieces, you'll have more plants, but they'll have to work harder to produce. You should get bigger, stronger plants, which in turn should produce bigger potatoes. Right?
Upon arriving home, we added the river rock to the bottom of the strawberry bed, then added a layer of mulch over the rocks. We paused long enough for Tony to put the corner braces on the outer edges of the end of the walkway (inside the planter), before starting to add loads and loads of manure and compost over the mulch. Then we added another layer of mulch, and another layer of compost and manure, before adding a thick layer of mulch over the top.
The last layer of manure was a struggle. Our trusty wheelbarrow that we've had for three years finally broke. One of the wheels snapped and came right off. I had to haul manure and compost by the bucket back and forth. Eventually I gave up. I had wanted a lot more in that level, but my back and shoulders were killing me and I was so tired of walking back and forth.
When it was all finished, I soaked the entire thing down for several minutes to make absolutely sure that all levels are wet and would be prepared for planting.
It's supposed to rain tomorrow. Yes, I knew that when I soaked the strawberry garden. I wanted to make sure it actually got thoroughly soaked down. That means tomorrow I can catch up on indoor chores, and Tuesday I can make it my goal to get all of my strawberry roots planted. Maybe Thursday we can add some chicken wire to the upper portion to keep pests out, but if not, I'm alright with how it is for now. It looks awesome. I am working on putting together a page on How To Build A Raised Strawberry Bed with photos in case anyone wants to make one like ours. Please, feel free to take my plans, modify them however you see fit, and make one yourself! If you blog about it, all I ask is for you to link back to the plans page to give me some credit.
Oh, and my beloved sumatra chicken died overnight. I have no idea why. She was the sweetest bird, so tame, the kids loved her. Tony said if we order guinea chicks from the hatchery next month, we can add a Sumatra chicken on to the order.