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Monday, January 6, 2014

My beds are ready to fill with dirt.  This is the toughest part.  Its hard to find good soil.   The soil you buy at big box home improvement stores are more like twigs, sticks, and bark with some soil added and would take a couple years to turn into light loamy soil.   I need to find a good supplier of soil with some compost mixed in and well decomposed and I can get a large quantity at a good price.   Anyone have any suggestion for the Inland empire or Riverside county
One of the first things I noticed about the property other than the hard rocky clay soil was all the gopher holes.   I really didn't want to plants bulbs for all the gophers to eat my bulbs, so I have lined the bottom of the beds with some tight metal mesh.   This should keep the gophers out.  
Next was watering.  I decided to install and low pressure watering system in each bed to minimize water waste.   I used 1/2 inch plastic sprinkler piper with two 10 inch risers in each bed.  I will then attach a 4-8 outlet manifold on each riser to attach some type of watering attachments.  I haven't decided on that yet - and will have to experiment.   Luckily most bulbs don't need a lot of water and will do fine with a weekly watering,  Here is a picture of the pipes with the risers attached.  Its lying on its side but will stand upright when I fill with dirt.

My first step was finding some space not too far from my house near Downtown Riverside.   I placed an ad on craigslist and got some offers for land up in the high desert or cherry valley which is too far of a drive. I finally located a property behind the Riverside National Cemetery.    The owner gave me a good rate for monthly rent as I only need a small portion of the 1.5 acres, but gives me the space to grow.  Its fenced and secure with access to water.
The next step was designing the raised beds I need to build.    I decided to use 2x10's which are high enough to fill with enough dirt for the roots to grow deep and thick enough to hold the weight of the dirt.    They are 4 feet wide by 8 feet long.   I connected the corners with long screws and water proofed the wood with Thompson's water sealant.

This is my first attempt at blogging.   I grew up on a farm in South Dakota with all the typical farm animals.  Cows, turkeys, pigs, chickens, geese, ducks and sometimes a billygoat.   I now live in Riverside Ca which is east of Los Angeles, and densely populated.   Most yards are less that a 10th of an acre and raising animals other than a dog or cat isn't allowed.   I am starting a nursery on some rented land to raise and propagate dahlias, amaryllis, irises, gladiolus, and irises.    I also decided to start growing vegetables on another portion of property I found near my house.   Its a beautiful property with lots of potential.   There are 2.5 acres with a stocked fish pond, corrals, chicken coop, and 65 tree orchard.   I will be posting regularly on my journey.