More Gardening for Masochists

So we left my fair garden back at square one.  (Get it?  Square foot gardening?  Ha!)  The first order of business was weed death.  Luckily, my dad-in-law (aka: Dr. Death) whipped up an extra strong batch of weed killer and hosed the whole enclosure.  Then, because he is awesome, he went back and pulled up the worst of them - five feet tall!  thorny!  sneeze inducing! - and carted them to the dumpster.

That left me with a less weedy, but abundantly rocky, garden.  I learned from last summer's experiment that I needed more room for vines, so I decided to add an additional bed around the two sides of the garden that back up to a barn and a car port.  A loooong skinny bed with trellises on the wall sides.  In order to build my vine garden, I needed to level the ground where the bed would go.

So. many. rocks.

The previous owners had chucked all of the rocks they dug up (in a traditional dig-up-the-ground-style garden) into the corner of where I wanted my vine bed to go.  So I schlepped a big inconvenient pile of rocks from inside the garden into a less inconvenient pile outside the garden.  Then I used an assortment of implements to pick, hoe, shovel and rake the rocks into submission.  Whew!

Now on to weed control.  More (so! much! more!) pick-hoe-rake-and-shovel-ing later, it was time to roll out the weed blocking fabric.  Bear in mind, I had put off getting the ball rolling until the west Texas spring heated up to 100+ degrees.  That made all of the pick-hoe-rake-and-shovel-ing just that much more fun!  It was a total sweat-fest that took most of a week to adequately complete.  I did have help from my super-helpful in-laws.  I have to say that Grandma's attention to detail probably added a little time to getting this stage completed, but considerably upped the quality of the weed removal.

Once the weeds were subdued, I rolled out the weed blocking fabric.  In 20 mile per hour winds.  Yay!  So I would roll out some fabric, stand on it and try to move cinder blocks on top of it while the wind blew the fabric around Lucy-and-Ethel-style.  It wasn't pretty.  One pair of heavy-duty garden gloves later - I actually wore the finger tips off! - the bones of the garden were complete!