Progress on side-yard beds

Got to do a little bit of work over the past couple days on my plan to transform the western side of the house into planter boxes. Currently there are a lot of palettes with various materials on them – brick, stone, pieces of bamboo, some fence boards, etc. But with a decent amount of sun throughout the day, the presence of sprinkler system heads and the positioning between two downspouts, future vegetables ought to grow really well there.

Today I moved a lot of the stuff that was there, broke up some palettes, and pulled up a lot of bermuda grass, straggler daisy and stray sunflowers. Many of the palette pieces will serve to make the planter sides. After that I’ll pile leaves and compost there and slowly add more soil. I even have enough parts and supplies on hand to add micro-drilled soaker lines. With any luck it will be ready for planting next Spring.

Which reminds me… my mom showed me some really impressive beds built with concrete blocks. Essentially the blocks are just stacked, not mortared, and dirt is placed not only inside the perimeter of blocks but in the two hollow chambers of the blocks themselves. The soil near the blocks gains extra alkalinity from them… a boon to plants that need it (which is many Hill Country natives). The photo I saw showed strawberries planted in the blocks. I’m pretty sure she was referencing Urban Harvest in Houston when she showed me the photos, but I couldn’t find it again. Instead, I did find an article there about building beds with concrete blocks.

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