Reclaiming the Planter Box: Part Three


You may remember my struggle with the planter box in my back yard from last year. Despite its neglected condition (which you can see on the right), I decided I was going to restore it to a usable state. I proclaimed proudly “I have my hands, a trowel, and a garden shovel” and that’s all I was going to use to get the job done.

I was forced to admit that sometimes, your bare hands are not the best tool for the job. I made it about 1/3 of the way through the box by the end of the season. By the time I had made it that far, there was thick, new growth sprouting up in the area I had already cleared. It was unbearably frustrating.


This year, I started as soon as the snow melted, and with a tool better suited to the task than my bare hands. I picked up a good cultivator that made the job significantly easier. Being heavily pregnant, I could only get in about 20 minutes of work at a time, and I would do that much either once or twice a day. Still, by the second or third day, I had already made about as much progress as I had in the whole prior year, and had no regrowth yet.

I had also bought a trusty wheelbarrow online, which helped to speed up the process. Last year, I kept a large plastic flower pot beside me, threw the weeds into there, and emptied it every time it got full. The wheelbarrow made for a much bigger bucket that required less frequent emptying.


It’s now halfway through May, and the planter box has been cleared. It took me about six weeks, so as you can see, there are now some weeds poking up at the end I started on. However, they are much fewer and further between than the new growth I faced last year, and can easily be pulled by hand. A good portion will also come up when I plant my seedlings. Right now, the seedlings are crowding nearly every surface in my kitchen. It will feel really good to get those in the ground.

The wood frame of the box could definitely stand to be replaced, but with our little one’s arrival just around the corner, and plenty of other projects on our plates, that will probably be on the list for next year.

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