Sometimes it takes doing things a few times to get it right, don’t you agree?  Last year, we put together  raised beds, threw in some soil, and off we went. “Learn as we go” mentality,  or maybe “fly by the seat of our pants” would better describe us.  As the soil settled in our  raised beds, we began to remove the stones.  We didn’t really think much of this process, and kind of just tossed them.  That’s right, anywhere.  Pretty quickly we realized that there were way more stones than we’d realized.  So we dropped them between the raised beds.  I thought there would be enough stones to  just lay in between the beds all nice and neat. I was hoping they’d kill the grass and look great as well.  I mean, there were a lot of stones!  But that’s not exactly how things worked out.  The pile ended up being a heap, and the grass managed to grow over the heap.  It wasn’t pretty, and it was rather awkward to walk on.  It was so bad, I didn’t even take a picture of it (and I photograph just about everything)!

You may notice a theme throughout my gardening.  Frugality. That’s right, I’m looking to save money where I can.  Why buy gravel when I’ve got three million stones right here in my soil? I needed to find a way to make this work.

For the past week I’ve made “the stones” a little project for my kids.  I threw down some cardboard and asked them to move the stones from the heap to the cardboard.  This was turning out to be a painstaking process of trying to cajole them into moving more than 10 stones in the five minutes that they’d dedicate to helping.   None of us were happy with the stones.   Today I made the time to really look at the project and see if this was going to work.  I decided that I wasn’t going to take any chances with grass coming through, and I put down plastic under the cardboard.  Oh boy, this meant moving the stones that were moved this past week!  I guess it was good that the kids hadn’t gotten too much done!  I had the help of my two girls today, and I have to say they really did a great job.  They alternated between shifts of moving stones and jumping on the trampoline. I’ve never seen them keep such precise track of time before!   This  worked well for us.  We managed to clear all of the “heap”!  My daughter exclaimed “Daddy is going to be so impressed!”.  Funny, she must have been reading my mind.    The project isn’t completely finished.  I need more plastic and cardboard, and actually more stones, too!  But with all of the new soil I have, I know I have more than enough stones to fill the gaps.

Happy homemade & frugal gardening,

Dana

One of the paths between the beds is tidy now.

This is where we had the “heap” of stones.

It looks nice when you can’t see the plastic and cardboard. Great motivation to get the job finished!

There are a lot of stones.

I love the sunsets.

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