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!