Monday, February 20, 2012

Metal Planting Boxes

We knew we wanted to build planting boxes for our vegetable garden. Our zone 24 garden we builded the boxes out of recycled lumber. This time round for our Temecula zone 18 garden, we were inspired by Sunset Garden article How to build raised beds with  scrap metal. Two pictures of inspirational garden below.

It was amazing how difficult it was to find salvage metal sheet at a reasonable price. What ended happening was we had planter made out of new steel plates at a cheaper price! The boxes had to have braces on the inside  to keep its shape. Our planter boxes were of various sizes. We kept the width of the boxes to 4 ft wide so that we that we can reach the plants from both sides.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Earthworks and ground cover

We took out all the plants that surrond the pool, with the exception of the citrus trees at the edges of pad.  Remember, we are sticking to the motto if you cannot eat it, you cannot grow it! Out went the Phoenix Roebelenni or Pygmy Date  Palms, some Bird of Paradise, a couple of Queen was tough to stay focus and get rid of those plants :( The landscapers took away the plants that were removed to be used in other homes, if that helps....

We struggled with what ground cover to install around the pool which seems to beg for cool, green grass lawn. With water being so expensive, we knew it was not the right thing to install. We considered artificial turf but it was extremely expensive and we were not sure how it would stand up to Temecula's scorching summers. Finally we decided to go with small pebbles which we could remove and use in other parts of the property if we did not like how it turned out.

We leveled the whole pad, laid down weed block over the whole area. Experience taught us that weed block laid down at this stage, will dramatically cut down weeding down the road. It allows water to permeate while at the same time prevent the weeds from sprouting.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Creating a path.......

We finally broke into the piles of slate slabs and used them to create a walking path within the wall courtyard, at the door and along the courtyard wall. We broke the slates into large pieces which we then laid like a puzzle pieces to form the path. We filled the crevices with small stones to create a stable path.