After two days of digging and shovelling, my garden is finally done and ready to plant!!
You will remember that this is what is looked like, after I cleared the brush.
I spent Satuday afternoon removing at least one yard of gravel (you can see a small section of it at the far left of the picture). I was feeling it before I was even done and blister was well on its way! Ouch!
By dinnertime, a thunderstorm was well on its way, and after a full night of rain, the ground was soft on Sunday. I removed the remaining gravel and decided next time I take on this kind of task, I'll wait for a good rainstorm! Not sure how or where to dispose of the gravel, it is now on a pile between my garage and my garden, destined to be a walkway and possibly a patio.
Before removing the remainder of the gravel, I measured out the exact dimensions of my soon-to-be garden - 7' x 7'. I staked out the corners and removed the rest of the gravel. After leveling the area, I laid down newspaper to prevent weeds from coming up. I bought a half yard of 50-50 topsoil and compost a few weeks ago from the yard materials reclamation area at the dump. I moved the topsoil into the garden, leveling it as I went.
Several hours and several yards of gravel and dirt moved later, my garden was almost done! I have really ugly patio stones between my deck and garage, and since I had to remove them to make room for the gravel anyway, I decided to make a small retaining wall with them. Notice the giant pile of gravel next to my garage in the photo! Okay, maybe giant is an exaggeration, but it feel like it when you move it all with one shovel.
All I need now is warm weather, and I will be able to plant my veggies! For now, however, Fergie has the right idea - I'm beat and need a rest!