12,000 lb Screened Top Soil, A Bunch of Metal, Bolts, Nuts and a Few Curse Words

Started my backyard project Tuesday, put the last bit of mulch in today. First stage of building out my backyard area. 40-foot bed and a couple stand-alone beds to start with…

Can’t wait to fill it up – trying to decide if I can get away with Fall planting (z5) so I don’t have to wait until Spring!


throw some garlic in there now.


I have 2 more 4x7 beds to put in that are exclusively for Garlic – don’t know if I’ll muster up the steam this year though… I think I’d probably do those in garden soil vs screened top soil – and would probably mulch with straw vs wood… Love garlic, I ferment it into black garlic and eat it daily!

The long bed is earmarked for more fruit trees/bushes – not 100% decided, but pretty close to it – will probably do Coral Blaze cornelian cherry, Sunrise cornelian, Sweet Scarlett goumi, Tilamook goumi, and… possibly 2 serviceberry (Regent most likely) --or-- 2 elderberry (Nova and Ranch) --or-- more aronia (Viking probably) – tempted to do some Urban apple columnars, but trying to stick to no-spray…


Also severely tempted to throw in a Juliet bush cherry – but again, trying to stick to no spray…


How is the black garlic coming along been thinking of making some?
IF you were to say working out the Nuts, and bolts of the soil I’d thought you were speaking Figuratively

Are you happy with those freestanding planting boxes so far? are they bulging out in the middle? I have some raised beds but want more. What brand are those?
thank you, mary

Also… what is black garlic??

lol, fortunately all the nuts and bolts are holding fast :smiley: – I didn’t get any garlic in the ground this year – will have to wait until next season to get the beds installed. Black-garlic-wise though, I continue that fermentation process – just have to source it from the grocery store instead of the back yard…

Yes, I do like these particular beds, they’ve held their shape really well – I need to get them through a couple seasons to see if they have enough enough insulating mass – I’d prefer a full 48" wide vs 40" wide, but I think they’ll do OK (or I wouldn’t have put them in – fingers crossed). Those are from https://www.metalgardenbeds.com/ – really good experience with them so far.

Black garlic is a fermented version of regular garlic, basically ups the probiotics and nutrient content – gives it a sort of sweet/caramelized flavor that they use in upper end restaurants, but I enjoy eating straight – a bit like Sen-Sen or a black licorice chew… Possible anti-cancer properties, gut health, blood sugar control, antioxidant count, etc… It’s part of my fermentation regiment (I do Kefir and Kombucha also)

Black garlic - Wikipedia.

1 Like

Thanks Boochaman!
I had never heard of black garlic. Love kefir and REAL yogurt. My mother made homemade yogurt. Loved it as a kid and thankfully there are still a few sources for real yogurt. Tried a little kombucha at a Mother’s Earth fair. I didn’t like it but should probably try other sources before giving up on it. I do believe it is a good idea healthwise
I will look into those boxes. I have considered using animal water/feeding troughs… oval metal… 1’ x 4’ or 1x 6. I figured if they hold water without bulging out…should be able to hold dirt with out bulging. They are typically about 2’wide and I want something a little deeper.
Thanks for the link.

You bet! It’s actually fairly simple to make real yogurt by starting a clone culture from store-bought greek yogurt – there’s a bunch of youtube videos on it. That said, I haven’t done that because you make Kefir yogurt also (Kefir really versatile), so I have done that on occasion… Kombucha taste varies wildly depending on how you brew it/flavor it. I’d give a few different types a shot to see if it’s a taste you might develop, ginger kombucha is a great place to start and is relatively mild. I do mine with mango, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, flax and chia – yumm!!! Black garlic is somewhat of an acquired taste, but is very good for you!

I’ve considered the troughs for smaller spots also, I’ve seen people use them and they work, but cost and configuration-wise, these made sense for me and look pretty nice…

1 Like

I haven’t made homemade yogurt in years. Used to make it all the time when kids were young and we had goats. One of my boys was sensitive to cows milk when he was young and goats milk wasn’t available in the very small town we lived in …so got goats! Lots of yogurt…lots of soft cheese…yum.

Those boxes might just be perfect for me. As I look at the dimensions, I think they will work better than feeding/water troughs. And… i noticed free shipping through the end of Dec.

Thanks again for the info and link!

1 Like

Wait a second I took this as a positive post

I thought you meant my Vegetables are bolting placing Nut tree’s in planters listening to metal , and yelling curse words in cheer Yee haw son of a gun look at my Veggies growth.

Also confused Oh hahaha that was bolts from your project
I thought you bought the soil that way Thinking where does he buy his soil that had metal scraps in it made me laugh though when I realized you spilled them, and not soil bought that way.

Pictured you in my head screening out yards, and yards of soil
getting rusty scrap metal remnants left by soil dealer cursing longer day than I had planned.


lol, one way or another we’ll get it worked out :smiley: No I just meant there was a ton of nuts and bolts to get all that metal together… Nothing literally bolting right now – I did get some fruit trees/bushes Fall planted in it though since the time of those pics.

Fortunately, the dirt is good, I have a pretty good source in my area for screened top soil.

1 Like

ha ha Okay I made up the bolt part,
but the other part is true I thought Poor guy
Came here to vent screening 12000 pounds of soil full of metal
and that was September 26, and no one responded so it’s been in my conscience every time I saw the post.

That’s nice of you! Don’t let it bug you anymore – no issues with the soil. As far as responses go, I’m old enough to where most of my conversations are with myself or my dogs anyway :smiley:


With so many neighbors close by, I wouldn’t advise planting things that taste great for fresh eating. My brother calls the losses “finger blight.” Stick with things like aronia, rhubarb, elderberries, turnips, parsnips, beets, onions, and such things that are better cooked.


If your like me

No need when your wild eyed screening nuts and bolts out of 1200 lbs. of soil

Poor neighbor he thinks there is valuable stuff in there send him a welcoming Neighborly card.
talking with tools that’s it that’s it easy easy [slip bang boom]
Ah my knuckles stupid Chinese wrench
striped handle on screw driver mother’s jugglers
extension cord wrapped around leg trip trip try to hold yourself fall down
a lot of neighbors stay away
or worse Rotto tiller carries you up neighbors chain link fence,
but you do not power off keep pulling at it trying to free it
heavy metal is blasting all while the neighbors are starring as you thrash tiller side to side.

The weird part is when you start talking sweet to your tools when everything is going right “Ah that’s a daisy.”

Haha had a nice tree screen torn down by crazy loving tree cutting cousins
New neighbors in first weeks,
and I am in My back yard breaking open pop cans exposed of neighborhood,
because they smelled bad inside of fertilizer ,
and didn’t want the city recyclers to deal with the smell
must of looked childish So embarrassed.

Reminds ME of a Bill Burr comedy special dog gets amped up,
and yelling about ikea Furniture, stupid particle board
while also talking sweet to projects when everything does work.

1 Like

I expect a bit of that and don’t mind too much (as long as I still get enough, lol). But I am sticking to the lesser known (less probable shrinkage) because they fit better with my low maintenance, no spray, pest/disease free(ish) philosophy – this bed has 2 regent serviceberry, red gem and sweet scarlet goumi bushes, a couple ben sarek black currants, and will put a coral blaze and sunrise cornelian cherry in next spring to round it out. Should be a decent hedgerow in a few years if all goes well…

Love Bill Burr, funny stuff! Would be funny to see in person :smile:

Which direction is South? There are a lot of houses around to block the sun. It looks like you must be getting pretty close to the property line with your back neighbor.

Are all the houses newly built? Keep in mind that you could lose a lot of sun if one of the neighbors plants (or let’s seedlings grow) shade tree(s).

Those are such nice raised beds that I’d feel bad wasting so much of it by planting large shrubs or trees (Juliet, elderberry, goumi or the cornelian cherry). Service berry are small enough that you could probably plant around it, though I’m not really a fan of them (basically a bland blueberry…).

For the big stuff, I’d recommend planting it in ground, as not only will you save the bed space, but reduce the need for a ladder (no sense in starting something tall a few feet up…). I had an elderberry in a spot with good sun and it got to be 10-12’ tall and wide…Huge. I ended up removing it, which was a lot of effort.