Moving and Planting the Garden

Moving and Planting the Garden

Last week in the survey article I mentioned there were a few things that have to be moved; one included the garden.  At this point only two of the beds were planted and when Friday arrived that afternoon was spent outdoors relocating and planting the garden.

Where to begin was a bit of a challenge even though I already knew where I was going to move it.  Robert cut down a few trees days prior and all I had to really do was level the ground.  The big question was, “Could I get it done in one afternoon?”

The answer was yes and another reason why I love my Startle Garden, it’s manageable and produces amazing results.

A Successful Startle Garden Move

This time around the new location isn’t cramped and it’s still next to the creek so the beds were displayed in a stretched-out pattern. There’s a number of ways to layout SG beds and for me the garden display is almost as important as what you’re growing, well almost…

Another neat factor my quail sanctuary will be on the opposite side of the creek, this space is going to be amazing!

The first layout design can be found here.

Moving My Startle Garden

Moving Clay or Something else?

When I established these beds in March – May I used natural elements in addition with black soil from the creek.  These ingredients include my favorites and I’m going to guess you have access to at least three.

This black soil also contains a lot of clay that appears after digging deep.  Using my shovel, I removed the soil from the top and later went deep so I could add in chunky mounds of clay. This is Texas clay that most gardeners despise, for me I see an opportunity for improvement.

Clay can be found across the country and for some presents a gardening challenge.  There’s really no need to entertain the challenge, instead embrace the opportunity to learn by applying a little bit of effort.

Time to Move the Garden

When it came time to move the garden curiosity had my full attention because I wondered if those natural materials had time to decay in just a 7- month period.

The first step involved lifting the beds one by one and placing in their new location.  This is when I noticed that beautifully amended soil, within 7 months nature created a gardening miracle.  That’s a record for me so I’m here to say first and foremost, perhaps clay soil isn’t the problem, maybe the problem is the lack of work ethic that it takes to make amazing soil transpire?

Surely that’s something to think about and something that I continued to process while moving the garden and digging out more dirt from the creek.

By the end of the day my back and arms were sore but my heart was soaring.

Gathering Additional Soil from the land to work in.

There are benefits to clay that many gardeners over look and I plan to dig into this topic deeper later this month.

I’ll give you a little insight – you don’t need to be a master gardener to figure it out but you will need to bring a positive attitude and perhaps a work ethic to really embrace my findings.  In the meantime, let’s move forward into the garden where I also took time to add a little flair.

Add Garden Flair to fill in the empty Spaces

The Middle of Fall and Garden Flair

We’re in the middle of Fall and the temperatures are beginning to drop so I don’t expect much growth between now and March. This means some of these planting spaces look pretty empty.

This is when garden flair presents an opportunity to fill in the gaps. I added sponge painted pots and a cement frog that once lived in my grandma’s garden and later traveled to my mom’s garden.  He now lives in my garden and blends with those pots perfectly.

I also added my garden tray where I planted strawberries and a vine of thornless blackberries. It’s my hope to later add a garden table where these items can be moved when things start to grow in March.

All in all, moving the garden wasn’t a big deal and the best part I learned that blessings are all around us and boy do I ever love my Startle Garden.

Moving and Planting The Garden Success


  1. Patti says:

    Hi Carole,

    Your garden looks fabulous. I love those pots and the dear frog from grandma. Once you get your table out there Robert will have to come looking for you because you just might not leave. We also have clay here in PA but it’s not too much of an issue. I just add compost and organic material like you whenever I’m planting something new. After all larger plants need to get used to the environment and I’m not about to replace the entire garden.

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you – I’m in love with it, I have to admit… After we get property 1 done (this month) I hope to get back over there and establish a few more on this side and then tackle that quail area. Wait till you see what I’m going to do. That clay surely isn’t our enemy and by adding organic matter on a continuous basis it just gives it new life. Smart Lady!!

  2. daisy says:

    I have to admit, that I have not embraced the clay soil here in NC since we moved here in December. You’ve given me reason to challenge that, as I love hard work and look forward to improving the soil. Thanks for the push I needed! ;0D

    1. Carole says:

      Embrace it and I would recommend the taller raised beds too. This will give you an opportunity to grow as a gardener too. I honestly thought at one point about ordering soil and having it delivered so I could avoid the clay…. But the frugal person in me said…. “Seriously, 28 acres and you want to buy soil?” Basically I let the negativity of others almost redirect my efforts. Embrace it and here’s another push… Go for it!

  3. Karen says:

    Even in the slower part of the growing season, your beds look amazing! I can only imagine what they’ll look like when everything is big and blooming and spilling all over the edges. You’re such a fantastic inspiration to gardeners everywhere. I’m looking forward to watching these garden beds thrive and hope you’ll be sharing that! 🙂

    1. Carole says:

      You are so sweet, these poor plants were just waiting and waiting to get in the soil. They’re the ones I brought from the farm. Now I have a few roses and about 25 blackberry starters to get in the ground. Decided once the fence is in to grow the blackberries on it. Will be nice to have a u-pick blackberry homestead to sell. Anyways thank you for your kind words it means a lot. Just a few more trees down and I think another couple beds will be in order for this space and then everything else will go in with the quail.

  4. Jemma says:

    Such a neat spot to place your Startle Garden. Just imagining the serenity of the creek with the Quail sanctuary framing the background. Delightful!

    1. Carole says:

      It really is a neat spot even though the creek is mostly empty… LOL
      This property is going to be a fun one to complete, it will be the last one to sell so we’ll probably auction it off when the time comes.

  5. Carol says:

    I would love a little clay soil. Unfortunately l have red and white sand. Take your choice. The red is more fertile but both lose moisture rapidly. I have been using horse manure, grass clippings and mulch to help. It works. My problem is I have a two acre yard😜. Maybe by time I die the next owner will have much better soil to deal with.

    1. Carole says:

      Well move over to taller raised beds, even with sand it will make a huge difference. A nursery might be a good place to see about getting your hands on some clay.

  6. pamelasusann says:

    Hi Carole,

    I got a lot out of this post. Very few spots of my So. California yard have rich, brown soil with worms, rather the majority is a hard, sandy, river rock filled fight. I read up on your dirt simple section and have been direct composting in front yard for a full year. In those areas, there is texture, better drainage and a richer, brown color. The shovel still bounces off the surface of areas that I have not dug into. I wonder if I should transfer some soil from the richer areas to the poorer spots to introduce worms? I never see any worms in my compost holes. When I dig out a new hold for direct composting, I put the hard stuff in a heap to be hauled off. Hard work does produce good soil!

    1. Carole says:

      I’m so glad this was helpful, Friday I’m sharing more about clay soil to really tackle what is so many times overlooked. I agree hard work is the producer of good soil. You can move soil around but why not just start amending those poor spaces as well. Start with direct compost and perhaps add in some natural debris too. If you can get a hold of any animal manure that would really help speed up the process.

      1. pamelasusann says:

        Wow, thanks for the reply! I do add bagged chicken and steer manure. The direct composting is meat scraps, bones, fruit & vegs scraps, tea, coffee grounds, etc and lots of leaves. I think digging trenches rather than holes might help because among the 1 year old “working” compost holes, the ground is still solid-I haven’t seen a robust worm population. I asked about moving the soil around because I am seeing “excess” amended soil around the compost holes that could get washed away this rainy season?

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