Ok, we were ready. But just how would be do this?? And where would we get the additional soil we would need for the raised bed?
One answer came from our getting the grounds around the barn prepared for the demolition. We discovered we had several old railroad ties partly buried along the old property line. Getting them liberated enough to determine which were best took some time and much labor. Moving them to their destination took ingenuity. Using the riding mower as a tow, we fashioned a system to drag them over, at times with me driving and Jerome pushing from behind. We did have to replace one or two when we saw how the original few didn't quite fit together. But we had this hauling maneuver down pat by then and it was actually kind of fun.
Jerome had to saw one of those giants in half by hand. What a guy!
We had done a preliminary job of removing the weeds and grasses in the area, but now had to really clean it out well.
Then for the soil...
We purchased what we hoped would be a good mix of bagged soil, peat, and compost but found that this late in the season the bags had grown some moss and in a few, some non desirable greens. But with a bit of trouble we cleaned that up and put the soil mix into the bottom of the bed. Then I emptied several very large tubs of a good quality potting mix that I had brought from a favorite garden center in Illinois and had used this season to carry over plants I brought from the city garden until I was able to settle them into the beds here. With the addition of this beautiful soil, our bed was nearly bursting. Plus, all of the strawberries were already rooted in the soils they had clinging to them in their pots.
On the weekend following, Mother Nature watered them in well with 3 inches of rain. And then she smiled to let us know we'd done a good job.