Some projects just go WRONG. And you don't realize until you are about half done. I thought the major work would be to build the enclosure and tearing apart the old rotting frame beds would be easy.
I'm an idiot! PPPPPPPTTTTT..............
I wish it was April again and I was just starting this. I would do it SO differently! But I wanted to save all the good soil by moving it from the old beds to the new beds as I built them. Seemed logical at the time, but Bad Decision. Happens a lot.
I had a friend who decided to almost double the size of his house by having half of it demolished and then added to. It went horribly! He could have had the whole house demolished and rebuilt so much easier and at about the same cost faster. Ruined a year of his life and cost me our friendship (I mentioned the renovator who built my toolshed and did some additions elsewhere).
Don't EVER make major recommendations to friends... He blamed me for the disaster and I wasn't sympathetic enough but that's another story (which I will tell someday soon).
But back to the garden. I SHOULD have just busted out all the old framed beds from end to end last April, disposed of all the old wood, and spread the soil and used my rototiller to level the whole *#%@ area. I didn't and I regret it now.
Part of the problem is that my lot slopes from back to front and from the center to the sides. Nothing is level here. It isn't obvious by just looking, but even an 8' long bed is 4" higher at one end than the other.
I have 2 of the 6 beds built. It was hard work. I had the original beds because the soil in the last sunny areas is all rock and clay. I should have remembered that when I planned to replace them.
If I was starting the project again today, I would just take out all the existing rotting boards at the same time and roto-till the entire area to level it all at once. Why not do that now?...
Because of a silly piece of twine. It outlines the whole new enclosure area. Silly, but I didn't want to undo the careful twine outline of the new bed. I can be very talented and very stupid at the same time. No laws prevent it..
But clearly, the way to go is to disassemble the 2 beds I built already (which in spite of my digging are unlevel and unsquare. Save the wood. Rototill the entire area and rake it flat as a pancake, THEN easily build the new framed beds on the leveled ground and add new soil.
And THEN build the squirrel and groundhog proof chicken wire enclosure.
My tomatoes MAY only cost me $10 each for several years...
I'm doing this because it is basically my "Last Hurrah" of gardening. In a few years (I'm 64) I won't be able to take on this kind of project. The new garden beds will basically last me my future years until I can't garden any more. So it is to rebuild them now or never.
And I will do it myself, or there is no point to it.